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Dadabhai Naoroji 









" The people of India are capable of administering 
their own affairs and the municipal feeling is deep 
rooted in them. The village communities, each of 
which is a little republic, are the most abiding of 
Indian institutions." 

(Lord Lawrence, once Viceroy and Governor- 
General of British India). 




Copyright, 1916, by 

Printed in U. S. A. 









(OCTOBER 1912) 






Mr. Lajpat Rai, the author of this book, is one of 
the most widely known, most honoured and most in- 
fluential public men in India. For more than twenty- 
years he has been a leading member of the bar in 
Lahore, the capital city of the large province of the 
Punjab, and has long been prominent in public af- 
fairs both local and national. 

From almost the beginning of the National Indian 
Congress he has been an active leader in that body, 
which is the most important political organization in 
the country. The last time I was in India (two and 
a half years ago) I found that he was being widely 
talked of for the Presidency of the Congress at its 
approaching yearly meeting. 

Conspicuous in Indian educational work and a 
founder of the large and flourishing Anglo- Vedic 
College in Lahore, he has for a dozen years or more 
held the position of either Vice-President or Hon- 
ourary Secretary of the College, and also that of 
Lecturer in History. 

He started The Punjabee, a leading paper in the 
province, published in English, and has edited a 
monthly magazine and a weekly paper printed in the 
vernacular, besides writing for other Indian period- 
icals and for reviews in London. 

The Arya Samaj, an important, fast growing and 


influential movement of religious reform in India, 
which rejects idolatry and caste and is active in pro- 
moting education, social reforms and the elevation 
of woman, counts Mr. Rai among its honoured 

He has organized relief work during periods of 
famine in India, and has for some years led in an 
extensive movement for the elevation of the " De- 
pressed Classes," that is, the forty millions of " out- 
casts " or " untouchables " whose condition is so 
miserable. Several years ago I attended a National 
Conference to promote this work, at which he pre- 
sided and delivered a powerful address. 

Mr. Lajpat Rai has made three or four extended 
visits to England and three to America. In Eng- 
land he has spoken in many cities as a delegate from 
the National Indian Congress, for the purpose of 
acquainting the British public with the real condi- 
tion of things in India, and to urge upon the British 
Government the granting to the Indian people of cer- 
tain important political reforms. In America he has 
made a careful study of our history and institutions, 
our industrial and social movements, our political 
and religious life, and especially our schools and uni- 
versities, and our educational systems and methods. 
He is impressed with the leadership which the United 
States is attaining in the world of education, par- 
ticularly education in scientific, industrial, techno- 
logical and agricultural directions, and he finds much 
here which he desires to see introduced into his own 

From the beginning of the New National Move- 


ment in India, Mr. Rai has been one of its most 
prominent leaders. He is an ardent patriot, is proud 
of his country, her civilization, her literature and her 
great place in the world's history, and he believes she 
is destined to have a great future, commensurate 
with her great past. But now she is a subject land, 
ruled by a foreign power, her own people having 
practically no voice in the direction of their own 
national affairs or the shaping of their future des- 
tiny. This deeply grieves and galls him, as it does 
a large part of the Indian people. The Nationalist 
Movement, of which he gives an account in this book, 
is a protest against present political conditions, and 
a demand for larger freedom and independence. 
Indeed, its aim is self-rule; not necessarily severance 
of connection with the British Empire, but partner- 
ship in the Empire, — home rule inside the Empire 
like that enjoyed by Canada, Australia and South 

The British Government of India frowns upon 
this Nationalist Movement, tries to suppress it, and 
places its leaders under ban. This is the way des- 
potic governments always treat subject peoples as 
soon as they grow restive in their bonds and try to 
loosen them or throw them off. Mr. Lajpat Rai 
has had to pay heavily for his patriotism. In 1907 
he was seized by the Government and, without trial 
or even being told what was his offence, was secretly 
sent away to prison in Burmah, and kept there six 
months. He was suspected of disloyalty and sedi- 
tion, but not the slightest evidence was found against 
him. His only crime was that he was a Nationalist, 


and was working in perfectly open and legal ways 
to secure greater liberty for his country. After his 
release from prison, he brought legal suits against 
two newspapers, one in India and one in London, 
that had published charges of sedition against him; 
and, notwithstanding the fact that the powerful 
influence of the Government was on the side of 
the papers, he won both suits, — so clear was his 

For a full dozen years India has been seething 
with unrest, seething with dissatisfaction over pres- 
ent political conditions. During the past ten years 
there has been not a little bomb throwing and not a 
few signs of revolution. When the present Euro- 
pean war broke out there were at once increased 
outward expressions of loyalty; but the unrest has 
remained. When the war is over what will happen? 
That will depend, Mr. Lajpat Rai believes, upon the 
course pursued by the British Government. If the 
Government in a generous spirit meets India's just 
demands, there will be no revolution. If the Gov- 
ernment blindly and obstinately refuses, the worst 
may happen. 

While Mr. Rai is an ardent and uncompromising 
advocate of the Nationalist Cause, he has always 
counselled procedure by evolutionary and not by 
revolutionary measures, by vigorous and determined 
agitation and not by bomb throwing. Throughout 
his entire career he has striven by every means, 
through speech and the press, in India and in Eng- 
land, to move the British Government to prevent 
revolution, in what he believes is the only possible 


way, namely, by inaugurating and carrying out hon- 
estly a policy of justice to the Indian people. 

There is in sight an Indian Renaissance. There 
is a " New India in the Making." Indeed the stir- 
rings of new life in India are hardly less marked, 
less profound or less revolutionary, than in Japan 
or China. Of this the book gives a vivid and re- 
liable picture, — and, what is of great importance, a 
picture from the inside. 

We have many books which portray Indian condi- 
tions as foreigners see them, — particularly as they 
are seen by Christian missionaries and by the British 
rulers of the country. At last we have a book which 
gives us the life, the experiences, the wrongs, the 
sufferings, the hopes, the aims, the motives, and, 
what at the present time is most important of all, 
the political ideals and ambitions of the Indian peo- 
ple themselves, portrayed by one of their own num- 
ber, a leader who has been in the very heart of the 
struggle from the beginning, and who has felt it all 
in his own life and his own soul. 

It is a message to every man and woman in 
America, and in Great Britain, too, who loves justice 
and hates oppression, and who wants to know about 
one of the most heroic struggles for liberty now go- 
ing on in the world. 

My own intimate acquaintance with India for 
many years gives me a greatly increased sense of the 
value of Mr. Rai's book. Perhaps nothing in the 
volume will be found more surprising or more in- 
teresting to Americans than the overwhelming evi- 
dence of the dissatisfaction of India with her pres- 


ent political condition, and the fact that the Indian 
people want home rule, want it more earnestly than 
they want anything else, and that probably nothing 
less than this will keep them loyal to Great Britain. 
This feeling, which had been growing fast for years 
before the war broke out, has since sprung into a 
passion. And we may be sure that the flame will 
not burn with less intensity when the soldiers return 
who have been risking their lives for Great Britain 
in Turkey and Egypt and France, and who have 
been learning new lessons of self-reliance, freedom 
and independence from their contact with the great 

It is hardly possible today to take up an Indian 
periodical of any kind, Hindu or Mohammedan, secu- 
lar or religious (I myself regularly subscribe for and 
read nine, two of the number making a specialty of 
a monthly summary of Indian press opinion), with- 
out being brought upon some expression of this uni- 
versal desire for self-rule. The people are dis- 
posed to be patient and considerate, and make no 
demands upon the Government that will be embar- 
rassing so long as the war lasts. But everything in- 
dicates that when peace comes they will be in no 
mood to be treated like children and put off with the 
usual vague and meaningless promises. 

Since India has borne faithfully and loyally her 
part in the war, one of the distinct stipulations in the 
treaty of peace at the end should be the granting to 
her of home rule. This is as much her right as is 
autonomy the right of Belgium or Poland. This 
right is recognized by not a few Englishmen; it 


should be recognized by the whole nation, and put 
into effect generously, freely, without waiting for 
struggle and bloodshed. The advantage to Great 
Britain would be incalculable. It would remove 
from her as a nation her most threatening danger, 
and it would give to her Empire a solidity and per- 
manent strength such as it cannot otherwise secure. 

While India wants freedom to shape her own 
affairs, her wisest minds do not desire separation 
from England. They recognize many strong ties 
between the two countries which they would not see 
broken. While they are determined not much longer 
to lie prostrate beneath England's feet, they would 
gladly stand by her side, arm in arm with her, firmly 
united for great ends of mutual welfare and mutual 
strength. An Anglo-Indian Empire is one of the 
splendid possibilities of the future, binding Britain 
and her colonies and her great Asiatic possession 
together into a powerful world-spanning federation 
of free peoples. Something like this is the dream of 
India's greatest leaders, as it is also the dream of 
not a few of Britain's most far-seeing minds. • 

When this world-revolutionizing war is over, 
Great Britain must reshape after a larger and more 
adequate pattern her whole scheme of Imperial Gov- 
ernment. She must become a Federated Empire. 
There must be self-government at home, not only 
for Ireland but also for Scotland, Wales and Eng- 
land. And there must be self-government abroad, 
not only for Canada, Australasia and South Africa, 
but, as not less imperative and not less wise, for In- 
dia also, to be followed in time, as conditions can be 


made favourable, by self-rule more or less complete 
for all of Britain's more important dependencies. 

The danger is that Britain may forget India or 
thrust her aside, as in the past, to the position of a 
mere dependency. If she does this she will plant a 
cancer in the heart of her Empire, she will create a 
volcano under her throne. It will take courage and 
large statesmanship to give India home rule, as it 
took large statesmanship and courage to give home 
rule to South Africa. But the splendid venture must 
be made. And, made in the right spirit, it will suc- 
ceed as perfectly as it did in South Africa. 

Has Great Britain statesmen sufficiently far- 
sighted, with adequate genius and courage, to do to 
India the splendid justice of giving her the home 
rule which is her right, and then to create a world- 
circling federation of free peoples with India a part- 
ner in it, — a real Anglo-Indian Empire? It would 
be the most brilliant, constructive and noble work of 
statesmanship known to the modern world. 

Now that Canadians, Australians, New Zealand- 
ers and South Africans as well as Englishmen, 
Scotchmen, Welshmen and Irishmen have fought 
side by side with the soldiers of India, shedding 
their blood in a common cause, why should they not 
all gladly welcome those heroic and loyal men of 
the East to a place by their side in the Empire which 
they have helped to save ? 

Need England shrink from the risk? This is 
her path of least risk. Under present conditions 
India is her peril. The one thing that will trans- 
form India from a source of ever-increasing danger 


to a bulwark of strength, is to trust her as South 
Africa has been trusted. She is certainly as worthy 
of trust as South Africa was. Thus to trust her, 
and to lift her up to a responsible place in the Em- 
pire, will appeal to India's pride as it has never been 
appealed to, will create in her an enthusiasm of loy- 
alty equal to anything seen in any of the self-ruling 
colonies, will bind her to Great Britain with bands 
of steel. 

Is it said that India is incapable of ruling herself? 
That was said of South Africa; that was said of 
Canada; that was said of the American Colonies 
when they broke off from Great Britain and set up 
a Government of their own; that is what England 
has long been saying of Ireland. That is what every 
nation that loves power always says of every section 
of its people that wants more liberty. 

The truth is, the safest Government in the world 
for every people of any intellectual and moral de- 
velopment at all (and India is advanced, both in- 
tellectually and morally) is self-government. No 
rule so completely destroys the fibre of a nation as 
rule by a foreign power. India can rule herself far 
better than any foreign nation can rule her. 

If India is incapable of self-government today, 
what an indictment is that against England! She 
was not thus incapable before England came. Has 
one hundred and fifty years of British tutelage pro- 
duced such deterioration? India was possessed of 
a high civilization and of developed Governments 
long before England or any part of Central, West- 
ern or Northern Europe had emerged from bar- 


barism. For three thousand years before England's 
arrival in the Orient, Indian Kingdoms and Empires 
had held leading places in Asia, and that means in 
the world. Some of the ablest rulers, statesmen, 
generals and financiers known to history, as well as 
many of the greatest thinkers and writers of man- 
kind, have been of India's production. How is it, 
then, that she suddenly becomes imbecile and unable 
to stand on her own feet or conduct her own affairs 
as soon as England appears on the scene ? 

To be sure, at the time when England came, India 
was in a peculiarly disorganized and unsettled state ; 
for it should be remembered that the Mogul Empire 
was just breaking up and new political adjustments 
were everywhere just being made, — a fact which 
accounts for England's being able to gain political 
power in India at all. But everything indicates that 
if India had not been interfered with by European 
nations, she would soon have been under competent 
Governments of her own again. 

A further answer to the assertion that India can- 
not govern herself — surely one that should be con- 
clusive — is the fact that, in parts, she is governing 
herself now, and governing herself well. It is no- 
torious that the very best Government in India to- 
day is not that carried on by the British, but that of 
several of the Native States, notably Baroda and 
Mysore. In these States, particularly Baroda, the 
people are more free, more prosperous, more con- 
tented, and are making more progress, than in any 
other part of India. Note the superiority of both 
these States in the important matter of popular edu- 


cation. Mysore is spending on education more than 
three times as much per capita as is British India, 
while Baroda has made her education free and 
compulsory. Both of these States, but especially 
Baroda, which has thus placed herself in line with 
the leading nations of Europe and America by mak- 
ing provisions for the education of all her children, 
may well be contrasted with British India, which 
provides education, even of the poorest kind, for 
only one boy in ten and one girl in one hundred and 

The only ground at all that exists for the claim 
that the Indian people are not able to govern them- 
selves lies in the fact that the British Government 
during all its history in the land has deprived them, 
and still continues to deprive them, against their 
constant protest, of practical experience in Govern- 
ment management. They had such experience be- 
fore the British came, but since that time they have 
been robbed of it to their great injury. Of course, 
under present conditions, if the British should leave 
India in a day, with no body of men trained to take 
their places, for a time there would be confusion, 
just as there would be confusion in England if every- 
body there accustomed to Government management 
should leave that country in a day. 

But the Indian people do not ask England to leave 
India in a day, or to leave at all ; what they ask is 
for England to associate with herself the competent 
men of India in the government of their own coun- 
try, and thus give them the experience in self-rule 
which is their right and of which they never ought 


to have been deprived. With such opportunities for 
practical experience extended to them for twenty- 
years, or even for ten years, they would be ready for 
the full responsibilities of home rule. 

Among the tens of thousands of India's educated 
men, and men of natural capacity for leadership, 
there is no lack of material to fill, and fill well as 
soon as they are given experience, every kind of 
official position. Many of the highest judgeships 
are now filled with great efficiency by Indians. In 
no department of the Government where Indians 
have been adequately tried have they been found 

The truth is, not one single fact can be cited to 
show that India cannot govern herself well if given 
a chance. It would not be difficult to form an In- 
dian Parliament today, composed of men as able 
and of as high character as those that constitute the 
fine Parliament of Japan. India has public men 
who, if they lived in England and belonged to the 
English race, would unhesitatingly be adjudged not 
only of Parliamentary but of Cabinet rank. For 
twenty years before his recent lamented death Mr. 
Gokhale was confessedly the equal in intellectual 
ability and in moral worth of any Englishman in 
India, not excepting the three Viceroys under whom 
he served. It is no exaggeration to declare that 
Mr. Justice Renade had qualifications fully fitting 
him for the position of Viceroy, or if he had lived 
in England, fitting him for the position of Premier. 

This is only another way of saying that among 
the leaders of the various States and Provinces of 


India there is abundant material to form National 
and Provincial Governments little, if at all, inferior 
in ability and in moral character to the Governments 
of the Western world. 

J. T. Sunderland. 
New York, June, 191 6. 



Foreword, by J. T. Sunderland vii 

Introduction I 

I. The General Viewpoint of the Indian Nationalist 67 

First Invasion of India 68 

Chandra Gupta and Asoka 69 

India Practically Independent Up to the Twelfth Cen- 
tury 70 

Muslim Rule 71 

Muslim Rule in India not Foreign 73 

India Under the British 76 

Political Disqualification of the Indians 78 

Indians May not Carry Arms 80 

Loyalty of Ruling Chiefs 90 

Middle Class Desires Political Freedom .... 92 

II. India from 1757 to 1857 95 

Conflict of French and English in India .... 96 

How British Rule in India Was Established ... 96 

Methods of Consolidation of British India .... 97 

British Public Ignorant of Facts 98 

Conquest of India Diplomatic, not Military . . . 100 

The Great Indian Mutiny of 1857 101 

How the Mutiny Was Put Down 102 

III. India from 1857 to 1905 109 

Part. I. From 1857 to 1885. 

The Bengalee Babu 109 

Forces Resisting Denationalisation 114 

Political Disappointments 115 




Lord Ripon 118 

Lord Dufferin 121 

Part II. The Birth of the Indian National Congress. 
Indian National Congress an English Product . . .122 

Hume, a Lover of Liberty 124 

Congress to Save British Empire from Danger . . 126 
The Congress Lacked Essentials of a National Move- 
ment 138 

Hume's Political Movement 141 

Congress Overawed 142 

Congress Agitation in England 144 

Causes of Failure of the Congress 145 

Part III. The Birth of the New Nationalist Movement. 

Swadeshi and Swaraj 148 

Men Who Have Inspired the Movement . . . .152 

Lord Curzon and Indian Education 156 

Lord Curzon's Secret Educational Conference . . 158 
Indians and Lord Curzon at Cross Purposes . . . 158 
The Congress Deputation to England in 1905 . . . 159 

The Congress of 1905 160 

Object of the Passive Resistance Movement . . . 162 

IV. The First Years of the Nationalist Movement 167 

Partition of Bengal 167 

Boycott of British Goods 167 

Government's Reply 170 

The Second Move of the Bengalees: The National 

University 170 

Arabinda Ghosh 172 

The Nationalist Press 176 

Military Measures against Boycotters 177 

Lord Minto 179 

Indian Press Gagged 180 

Deportation of Lajpat Rai 181 

Disaffection Driven Underground 183 

Lord Hardinge Bombed 184 



V. Types of Nationalists 187 

The Extremists 187 

A Few Nihilists 189 

Religious Extremists 189 

The Mother Worshippers 100 

Vedantists 191 

Advocates of Organised Rebellion 195 

Har Dayal 195 

Hardayalism : Advocation of Full Swaraj . . . 199 

Political Freedom the First Condition of Life . . . 200 

Arabinda Ghosh — Vedantist and Swarajist . . . 205 

Ganesh Vinayak Savarkar 210 

The Terrorists 211 

Advocates of Constructive Nationalisation .... 212 

Independence, but not at Once 212 

Preparing the Nation for Freedom 213 

Preparatory Work from Below 214 

Brahmo Samaj ; Arya Samaj ; Ramakrishna Mission . 215 

The Moderates 216 

Gokhale 216 

Congress Leaders 219 

Passive Resisters 219 

VI. Indian Nationalism and the World-Forces . . 221 

Inspiration through European Nationalism .... 221 
History of Modern Europe Tabooed in Universities . 221 

Italian-Turko War 222 

Interpretation of India to Western World .... 223 
Tagorism 223 

VIL The Religious and the Communal Elements in 

Indian Nationalism 225 

Mohammedan Revulsion of Feeling against the Brit- 
ish 226 

Disaffection arnong the Sikhs 228 



VIII. The Future 230 

Change in Indian Life and Depth of Nationalism . 230 
Nationalism Fertilised by Blood of Martyrs . . . 232 

Wave of Indian Nationalism is on 233 

Propitiation and Petty Concessions Futile .... 234 
Internal Division no Valid Plea for Continuance of 

British Rule 235 

Illiteracy the Fault of the British and no Bar to Self- 
government 237 

Internal Troubles 238 

Unfitness of Orientals for Representative Institutions 238 

Nationalism Has Come to Stay 238 

Curzons, Macdonnels, Sydenhams, Responsible for 
Bombs and Revolvers 240 

A Short Bibliography of Books in English .... 241 


Feudatory Chiefs Powerless 243 

Gross Insults to Indians 243 

Industrial Ruin of India; Gokhale 244 

India a Mere Possession; Gokhale 244 

Masses Starved; Sir C. A. Elliot, Sir W. W. Hunter, 

William Digby 244 

Seventy Million Continually Hungry People in Brit- 
ish India; William Digby 245 

Total Area under Cultivation 245 

Famines of Money; not Food; Lord George Hamilton 245 

Causes of Famines 246 

Drain ; Montgomery Martin and Digby 246 

Enormous Foreign Tribute; Rev. J. T. Sunderland . 246 
Government Assessment too High; Sir W. Hunter . 246 

The Ryot; Herbert Compton 246 

Indian Plunder; Adam Brooks 247 

Swami Abhedananda 247 

Mfred Webb ...,,, 247 



"Narrow and Shortsighted Imperial Policy;" Sir A. 

R. Colquehoun 248 

Taxation; Lord Salisbury 248 

Plague, Deaths from 249 

Death Rate 249 

Indian Finance 249 

Land Tax 249 

Income Tax 250 

Customs 250 

Trade Figures for 1913 to 1914 251 

Personnel of the Government 251 

Figures About Education and Literacy 253 

The Flogging of Political Prisoners 253 


Ram Mohan Roy 

Facing page 


Swami Vivekananda 

it ti 


Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak 

(t u 


Arabinda Ghosh 

(C (C 


Lajpat Rai 

(I << 


Har Dayal 

i( it 


G. K. Gokhale 

11 £C 




During my travels in the world, the one point 
that has struck me most forcibly and most pain- 
fully, is the lack of true knowledge about the affairs 
of India among the " civilised " nations of the 
globe. Even the best educated among them know 
very little about India and what little they know is 
not always right. The sources from which the or- 
dinary stay-at-home Westerner derives his knowl- 
edge about India are the following: (a) mission- 
aries who have been to India, (b) English writers 
of the class of Rudyard Kipling and Sir Valentine 
Chirol, (c) British officials, (d) serious students of 
Indian history or Indian literature like the late Pro- 
fessor Max Miiller, the late Miss Noble, and the 
late Professor Goldstucker. 

Now unfortunately for India most of these peo- 
ple, except those coming under the last heading, 
have generally an axe to grind and can not be ac- 
cepted as disinterested, well-informed, impartial au- 
thorities. Their reading of Indian history is often 
perverted and their observations of Indian life par- 
tial and distorted. They go to India with definite 
aims, look at persons and things from their own 
particular angle, and pose as authorities on matters 
far beyond the scope of their observations and 


studies. With rare exceptions most of the West- 
erners who go to India go with the presumption 
that the people of India belong to an inferior level 
of society; that they are heathens, worshippers of 
stocks and stones; that they are hopelessly divided 
into castes and classes; that these castes and classes 
are always at each other's throats; that they have 
never had a settled or civilised form of government; 
that the British have for the first time in their his- 
tory given them a settled government; and that 
India would go to pieces if British government were 
to withdraw. 

Writers about India may again be broadly sub- 
divided into two classes: (a) those of British origin, 
(b) those of non-British origin. Those of British 
origin are in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred 
tainted with the imperial bias. They can only look 
at things from the imperial or British point of view. 
Even the best and the most fair-minded of them do 
not altogether succeed in freeing themselves from 
this bias. The bias acts even against their will. 
The second class of writers are affected by the 
racial and the colour bias. Moreover, nine out of 
ten amongst them are made to look at things from 
the British point of view. As soon as they land at 
an Indian port, they are taken in hand by the British 
residents, officials and non-officials, and practically 
the whole of their trip is arranged for them by the 
latter. They only see things which the ruling com- 
munity want them to see and they only hear and 
know what these allow them to hear or know. The 
few who resolutely refuse to be thus " pro- 


grammed " do sometimes see things in their true 
light, as the late Mr. Keir Hardie, M.P., and Mr. 
H. W. Nevinson did. 

In this connection I think the following remarks 
of the latest American writer on India, Professor 
Pratt of Williams College, Massachusetts, in his 
book on " India and Its Faiths " are very pertinent. 
Professor Pratt begins by warning the reader 
against " the point of view of the native " himself, 
as well as against " those European writers who 
seek to give an ultra ' sympathetic ' picture of In- 
dia." But his observations about the other two of 
the four sources of information mentioned by him 
are extremely interesting. He says : 

" Much greater is the danger that we, with our 
Western ideals and customs so different from those 
of India, should go to the other extreme and take 
one of the two remaining points of view that I re- 
ferred to above. One of these is that which char- 
acterises a certain type (now happily decreasing) 
of earnest but narrow-minded missionary." The 
fourth source of information, which, according to 
Professor Pratt, " one should regard with distrust," 
comprises " the superficial tourist or the non-mis- 
sionary European resident in India." In his opin- 
ion this source is particularly dangerous, for " it is 
so natural to suppose that one of our own race who 
has travelled in India (and especially one who has 
lived there * twenty-two years ') will be in a posi- 
tion to know all about it. . . . The tourist's igno- 
rance is not surprising, but it is not easy to under- 
stand the ignorance of the average European resi- 


dent in India." Professor Pratt's remarks about 
the " average European resident," who has been 
" twenty-two years " in India, are prefaced by an 
eulogistic tribute to the British administration of 
justice in India, which may be accepted with a little 
salt. The administration of justice in India is im- 
partial and as fair as it can be under the circum- 
stances, except when one party is a native and the 
other a Britisher. What concerns us here, is Pro- 
fessor Pratt's opinion about the resident English- 
man's knowledge of India. In his opinion " most 
of the Englishmen " whom he met seemed to him 
" singularly lacking in curiosity or interest " about 
" Indian thought, religion, traditions and ways of 
viewing things." " The Anglo-Indian," adds he, 
" is surprisingly indifferent towards almost every- 
thing native." Professor Pratt illustrates his con- 
clusions by actual facts which came under his ob- 
servation. One English gentleman who had lived 
in Calcutta and other parts of the East for many 
years, said to the professor : " The natives are all 
just a lot of animals, don't you think so?" No 
wonder that the professor had to say that his im- 
pression was quite different. For him it was hard 
to conceive how one " could stay any time among 
them without finding them a truly lovable people, 
and without imbibing genuine respect and admira- 
tion for the simple dignity of their lives, the quiet 
courtesy of their manners, their uncomplaining en- 
durance of hardships, their unbounded hospitality, 
and the feeling for spiritual value, which in spite of 
gross superstitions is unmistakable in the Indian 


atmosphere." Professor Pratt's " Englishman " 
had never heard of a Dr. Bose, " one of the greatest 
botanists living," and he did " not think much " of 
Tagore's poetry. " This lack of interest in native 
life as such," continues Mr. Pratt, " and the proud 
manifestation of conscious superiority that goes 
with it, shows itself in the coarser natures in a con- 
tempt for the ' black man ' and ' a constant swagger 
of putting him in his place.' As a result of this 
indifference to and contempt for the natives, most 
of the Anglo-Indians that I know anything about 
are very ignorant concerning the religions of India, 
and decidedly prejudiced against them. Personally 
I think that the opinions of nine Englishmen out of 
ten on the subject of Indian religions are entirely 
untrustworthy." x 

Professor Pratt only speaks of the English resi- 
dents' ignorance of Indian religion, but I am dis- 
posed to add that the opinions of ninety-nine out 
of every hundred Anglo-Indians on the nature and 
effects of British rule in India and the capacity of 
Indians to manage their own affairs are equally 
" untrustworthy." Hence the colossal ignorance 
which prevails in the West about what is happening 
in India politically and economically. Just think 
of an honest, fair-minded British writer, like Lowes 
Dickinson, presuming to write about political life 
in India without discussing the economic effects of 
British rule. 

India being only a dependency, her affairs do not 
attract that attention which they would if she were 

1 The italics everywhere in this quotation are mine. 


a self-governing country. The British Parliament 
disposes of the Indian affairs by an annual discus- 
sion of a few hours in an extremely thin house. 
The last time the British House of Commons dis- 
cussed an important measure affecting India, viz. : 
one by which it was proposed to suspend the Indian 
Civil Service examination pending the war and to 
authorise the Secretary of State in Council to make 
appointments by nomination, the maximum attend- 
ance, it is said, never exceeded 28. This measure 
was condemned by the unanimous voice of the In- 
dian native press, yet there was nobody in the 
House to give expression to their views in the mat- 
ter. The author, himself, has attended the sittings 
of the House in different years, when the India 
budget was under discussion and can testify from 
personal knowledge that the attendance was always 
very scanty and the speeches, often, poor. 

Yet the fact that India is inhabited by about one- 
fifth of the whole human race and that her trading 
capacity is simply unlimited, entitles her to a fuller 
consideration at the hands of the civilised world. 
Leaving aside her past, it can not be doubted that 
she is destined to play a great part in the develop- 
ment of the near future. As such, the writer has 
presumed that the following brief account of the 
rise and development of the Indian Nationalist 
Movement may not be devoid of interest to British 
and American readers. The book is of course open 
to the objection that it is written by a " native," 
but in the eyes of impartial investigators that should 
be its merit. The writer has been closely associated 


with the movement for the last thirty-three years of 
his life, in almost all its phases, religious, social, 
educational, industrial and political. It was in 
1888 that he joined the Indian National Congress, 
the official organisation of the " constitutional " 
nationalists, i.e., only four years after it was 

In the following pages he has tried to give as 
faithful an account of the origin and progress of 
the movement as is possible under the circumstances. 
The one fact which qualifies him to interpret the 
Indian Nationalist Movement is that his position 
has always been more or less detached. He has 
generally had the confidence of all sections as 
far as the broad outlines of their policy were con- 
cerned, without identifying himself with each and 
every item of their respective programmes. When- 
ever occasionally or incidentally he has happened to 
know of any projected violence, without exception 
he has used his influence toward restraint. By a 
timely exercise of his influence he once (1908) 
succeeded in saving the lives of one Lieutenant 
Governor and one College Principal. The conduct 
of the British in India and their denial of the funda- 
mental rights of the people, however, continue to 
add fuel to the fire and make it impossible for the 
friends of the constitutional movement to stop or 
effectually check the employment of physical force. 
Personally the writer is disposed to agree with the 
Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, who said the 
other day, that open rebellion was morally less hei- 
nous than a campaign of underhand violence by 


bombs and revolvers ; but what the Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor forgot to notice was that open rebellion by a 
subject people must always, in the nature of things, 
be preceded by secret propaganda and secret prep- 
arations. Secret preparations in a country like 
India, access to which is on all sides controlled by 
the British, are bound to bring in the use of ex- 
plosives and the taking of measures which might 
paralyse the administration and weaken its hold on 
the people. If a Government muzzles its people, 
shuts out all open avenues of political propaganda, 
denies them the use of firearms and otherwise stands 
in the way of a free agitation for political changes, 
it is doubtful if it can reasonably complain of secret 
plots and secret propaganda as distinguished from 
open rebellion. 

The American press has of late been giving out 
different versions of the political situation in India. 
One version affirms that India is on the point of re- 
bellion; the other that India is devotedly loyal. 
Both statements are partially true and both are par- 
tially false. India is not devotedly loyal, yet to all 
appearances she is so. Nor is India on the verge 
of rebellion, though she is full of rebellious spirit. 
It is preposterous to contend that her expressions 
of loyalty on the outbreak of the war are proof that 
she is satisfied with British rule as it is. The anti- 
British movement is spreading and gaining strength 
every day, and it is impossible for the British Gov- 
ernment without the aid of the Indian people to up- 
root what the British are pleased to characterise as 
" Anarchism." 



Among other criticisms, to which this book may 
be subjected, I anticipate one or two on historical 
grounds which I would like to answer beforehand. 
It may be said that I have painted the early history 
of India as " a golden age "; that my references to 
Chandra Gupta and Asoka show only the bright 
side of the shield and that I have throughout as- 
sumed that India is, and has always been, a political 
unity. Now in considering this criticism, it should 
be borne in mind that my sole object in referring 
to the past history of India is to show to my reader 
that India was not a barbarous country when the 
British obtained possession of her, that she has had 
a long and in some respects a glorious history; that 
she was never before governed by foreigners from 
without in the political and economic interests of a 
nation not living within her territorial limits, as she 
has been and is being governed under the British. 
Whatever may be my personal opinions about an- 
cient India and her civilisation, I have sufficient 
knowledge of the Occident to understand that the 
Western reader is liable to have some hesitancy 
about accepting them in all cases as historical truths. 
I have therefore carefully avoided making any state- 
ments for which I can not cite good authority. 
The statements made may be roughly divided into 
three kinds: (i) those relating to pre-Buddhist 
India, (2) those relating to India of 500 B.C. to 
about 1000 a. d., (3) those relating to India of Mo- 
hammedan domination. 


Now, as regards the first, we have no strictly his- 
torical data and the statements are based on the 
contents of the literature of the period, viz., the re- 
ligious treatises, the law books of the Hindus, and 
the epics. There is enough in this mass of litera- 
ture to justify the modest statements made in the 
first chapter of this book about that period of In- 
dian history, and, if necessary, I would be able to 
quote good authority for every statement made by 
me. Coming to the next period, viz., from 500 b. c. 
to 1000 a. d., we have enough historical data in the 
writings of the Greeks, the Chinese and the Moham- 
medans to justify the general statements made. It 
may be that my statements about this period are not 
complete, but tjiat is because I am not writing a his- 
tory of the period. I am only making an incidental 
reference for the purposes of this volume. For 
these purposes it is not necessary to trace the origin 
of Chandra Gupta's rule, or to state his motives for 
instituting a department of commerce or a depart- 
ment of vital statistics. Chandra Gupta himself 
may have been a " villain," but there is ample his- 
torical data for an historian like Vincent Smith 2 — 
a retired Indian Civil Servant by no means partial 
to India 3 — to conclude that " the foregoing review 
of the civil and the military system of government 
during the reign of Chandra Gupta proves clearly 
that Northern India in the time of Alexander the 

2 See Vincent Smith's " Early History of India," third edi- 
tion, p. 135. 

3 " Mr. Vincent Smith is always anxious to deprive India 
of the credit of all her achievements in art and literature." 
Indian Historical Studies by Prof. H. D. G. Rawlinson, p. 227. 


Great had attained to a high degree of civilisation 
which must have been the product of evolution con- 
tinued through many centuries.'' 4 

As for Asoka, Vincent Smith has discredited the 
stories of his having been guilty of excesses as- 
cribed to his early career by other historians. In 
any case, all historians are unanimous about the ex- 
cellence of his administration. " The lofty moral 
tone of these edicts" (*. e., Asoka's edicts), says 
Rawlinson (page 27 of " Indian Historical Studies") , 
" indicates clearly enough that India in the third 
century b. c. was a highly civilised country ; it must, 
indeed, have compared favourably with the rest of 
the world of the time ; for Greece was sinking fast 
into a state of corrupt decadence, and Rome, in the 
throes of her struggle with Carthage, had scarcely 
yet emerged from barbarism." No Indian need 
make any higher claim than this for the India of 
the third century b. c. Finally, as about the po- 
litical unity of India in the past, let it be noted that 
I do not claim that India was always united under 
one political authority or even under one political 
system. At the same time it is equally untrue that 
India was never a political unity. Most of the 
British writers are disposed to deny that there has 
been or is any kind of unity in India. This may be 
disposed of by the following quotation from Vin- 
cent Smith's " Early History of India " (page 5) : 
" India, encircled as she is by seas and mountains, 
is indisputably a geographical unit, and, as such, is 
rightly designated by one name. Her type of 
4 The italics in the above quotation are mine. 


civilisation, too, has many features which differ- 
entiate it from that of all other regions of the 
world, while they are common to the whole coun- 
try, or rather sub-continent, in a degree sufficient to 
justify its treatment as a unity in the history of the 
social, religious and intellectual development of 
mankind." 5 He adds, however, that " the com- 
plete political unity of India under the control of a 
permanent power, wielding unquestioned authority, 
is a thing of yesterday, barely a century old. The 
most notable of her rulers in the olden time cher- 
ished the ambition of universal Indian dominion, 
and severally attained it in a greater or lesser de- 
gree; not one of them, however, attained it com- 
pletely." The point admits of great controversy 
and anything like a proper discussion would add to 
the bulk of this book so much as would be out of 
proportion to its bearing on the main subject. Mr. 
Vincent Smith admits that Asoka's Empire included 
the whole of India proper except a tiny bit of the 
Southern peninsula lying between Nellore and Cape 
Comorin. (See map of Asoka's Empire in his his- 
tory, between pages 162-163.) The exclusion of 
this bit is based not on any positive evidence that 
this part was not included within his empire, but on 
the absence of positive evidence to the contrary. It 
is as if men living two thousand years after our day 
should expect it to be proved to their satisfaction 

5 See also Mr. E. B. Havell's Ideals of Indian Art, pp. 11-12. 
Mr. Havell's conclusion is : " We may see if we have eyes to 
see, that all India is one in spirit, however diverse in race and 
in creed." 


by positive documentary evidence that every bit of 
India was included in the British Empire under 
Queen Victoria. Again, the fact that Asoka's Em- 
pire did not include the Southernmost part of the 
Indian Peninsula was more than compensated by 
the inclusion of almost the whole of Afghanistan 
and Beluchistan and Nepal in his dominions. The 
territories comprising the kingdom of Nepal are not 
included in the British Empire, although they con- 
stitute a necessary part of India. Yet even Vincent 
Smith does not doubt that India is a political unity 

Then again it is only very recently that he and 
other historians have found out the data for a his- 
tory of the Gupta Empire from 320 to 455 a. d., 
about the extent of which he says: 

" The dominions under the direct government of 
Samundra Gupta in the middle of the fourth cen- 
tury thus comprised all the populous and fertile 
countries of Northern India. . . . Beyond those 
wide limits the frontier kingdoms of Assam and the 
Gangetic delta as well as those on the southern 
slopes of the Himalayas and the free tribes of 
Malwa and Rajputana were attached to the Empire 
by bonds of subordinate alliance ; while almost all 
the kingdoms of the South had been overrun by the 
Emperor's armies and compelled to acknowledge 
his irresistible might. 

" Whatever may have been the exact degree of 
skill attained by Samundra Gupta in the practice of 
the arts which graced his scanty leisure, it is clear 


that he was endowed with no ordinary powers ; and 
that he was in fact a man of genius, who may fairly 
claim the title of the Indian Napoleon. 

"By a strange irony of fate this great king — 
warrior, poet, and musician — who conquered 
nearly all India, and whose alliances extended from 
the Oxus to Ceylon — was unknown even by name 
to the historians until the publication of this work. 6 
His lost fame has been slowly recovered by the 
minute and laborious study of inscriptions and 
coins during the last eighty years." 

It may be mentioned, in passing, that monarchs 
of the Samundra Gupta type, who may be compared 
easily with a Charlemagne, a Frederick or a Peter 
the Great, have flourished in India almost every 
second generation. Hindu folk-lore has known 
them as Vikramadityas (Suns of Power) and has 
invested their names with " the halo of Arthurian 
romance." And this was a time in the history of 
the world when Egypt and Babylon had already 
passed away, when China was in a state of " an- 
archy," when the Roman Empire was under the 
heels of the barbarians, and when the Saracenic Em- 
pire (Caliphate) had not yet come into existence. 
England, France and Germany were simply non est. 

Now, the history of India before iooo a. d. has 
not yet been completely constructed, and who knows 
but that by future researches some other Samundra 
Guptas may be discovered? But in any case, the 
point is not so very important. In that sense even 
now, India may not be called a complete political 

6 First Edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1905. 


unity. It was not so in 1830 a. d. Up till 1849 
the Punjab was independent and so were the other 
provinces annexed by Lord Dalhousie. So Vincent 
Smith's claim, that it has been so since 1818 a. d. 7 
is not well founded. What is more important for 
our purpose is the present and the future. It is 
claimed that under the British, India is a political 
unity though Nepal is still independent. 

The critics of Indian aspirations are very unfair, 
when they compare the India of the seventeenth or 
the eighteenth or even of the nineteenth century 
with Great Britain, Germany, France and United 
States of the twentieth. They forget that the po- 
litical nations known by these names are only the 
growth of yesterday. India is as big as the whole 
of Europe excluding Russia. Yet what was Eu- 
rope before the nineteenth century? It was a big 
camp of warring nations and warring religions, en- 
gaged in exterminating and persecuting each other 
alternately. India was more or less a political 
unity when Great Britain was smarting under the 
heels of the Romans. It took the British over 1600 
years to establish their present political unity. 
Compare the following account of " England under 
foreign rule" (1013-1204), given by Green in his 
" Short History of the English People," with the 
condition of things in India from the time of Sa- 
mundra Gupta onwards. 

" Britain had become England in the five hundred 
years that followed the landing of Hengest, and its 

7 See footnote to p. 5, of his " Early History of India," 
3rd ed. 


conquest had ended in the settlement of its con- 
querors. . . . But whatever titles kings might as- 
sume, or however imposing their rule might appear, 
Northumbrian remained apart from West Saxon, 
Dane from Englishman. 

" Through the two hundred years that lie be- 
tween the flight of Aethelred from England to Nor- 
mandy and that of John from Normandy to Eng- 
land our story is a story of foreign rule. Kings 
from Denmark were succeeded by kings from Nor- 
mandy, and these by kings from Anjou. Under 
Dane, Norman, or Angevin, Englishmen were a 
subject race, conquered and ruled by foreign mas- 
ters; and yet it was in these years of subjection that 
England first became really England. . . . The 
English Lords themselves sank into a middle class 
as they were pushed from their place by a foreign 
baronage who settled on English soil." 

" In 800 a. d.," says Mr. West, in his modern 
history, revised edition, page 4, " Europe was still 
sunk deep in the barbarism that followed the long 
anarchy of the invasions, and the brief revival of 
Charlemagne had not gone far toward restoring 
civilisation. Schools and learning were almost ex- 
tinct; commerce hardly existed; communication be- 
tween district and district was almost impossible; 
money was so scarce that revenue had to be col- 
lected in produce; and manners and morals were 
alike deplorable." There has been hardly any 
period in the history of India about which anything 
so disparaging can be said. Again says Mr. West, 
" From 814 to about 1100, Europe had three cen- 


turies of ' Dark Ages,' caused by a new series of 
barbarian invasions and continued by ' feudal ' vio- 
lence of the local military organisation that society 
adopted to ward off these invasions." In fact 
Europe was in constant war right up to 1870, and 
the idea of nationhood had not developed till late 
in the nineteenth century. It is then not right to 
taunt the Indians with the absence of a perfected 
nationality in their country. Yet it can not be de- 
nied that the idea of nationhood is being developed 
pretty fast in India, even on modern lines. In fact 
I maintain that fundamentally India has been a na- 
tion for the last 2000 years, in spite of the fact that 
at times it has been divided into several kingdoms 
and principalities, sometimes under a common 
empire and in other times independent of each 

But even if the worst happens and India is split 
up into a number of political units, what then? To 
me this does not appear to be so appalling as it may 
seem to others. Some Indians think that in any 
case it is better to be men fighting their own battles 
than to be mere creatures always in the leading 
strings of others. They have no faith in " peace at 
any price " or in " peace under any circumstances." 


This book was written when I was travelling in 
the United States from January to May, 19 15. It 
was ready for the press in June, 191 5. Its publica- 
tion has been delayed by causes which need not be 


Since then much has happened in India which 
bears upon the subject and might briefly be referred 
to here. 

Early in 191 5 something like organised anarchy 
and disorder broke out in the Southwestern districts 
of the Punjab, resulting in the free looting of many 
villages in several districts. This lawlessness was 
due to war. It is said that the police and the offi- 
cers were overtaken by panic and order was not re- 
stored until strong measures were taken from the 
headquarters. About 4000 persons were arrested 
in connection with these disturbances and some 800 
of them were sentenced to different terms of im- 
prisonment, the rest being acquitted for want of evi- 

Towards the end of 19 14 and in the first few 
months of 191 5 the Punjab was the scene of many 
dacoities and murders, committed by and under the 
inspiration of Indians who had returned to India 
from abroad to take advantage of the war situation 
for political purposes. Some of these persons had 
gone from Canada; some from China; and some 
from the Pacific Coast of the United States. 
Amongst them were a large number of those who 
had been refused admission into Canada by the Ca- 
nadian authorities and who had suffered enor- 
mously by their trip to Canada and back. The first 
clash between the latter and the Government took 
place at Budge Budge, 8 in Bengal, where the re- 
turned emigrants from Canada landed in order to 
proceed to their homes in the Punjab. The Gov- 

8 A town on the Eastern Coast of India. 


ernment wanted to restrict their freedom of move- 
ment and would not let them go to Calcutta, 
whither a number of them wanted to proceed. 
These persons had concealed arms in their posses- 
sion, and it appears that there was a free fight be- 
tween them and the police, resulting in fatal casual- 
ties on both sides. About this time or a little later, 
the Government of India passed a special law, au- 
thorising officials to intern or imprison any person 
or persons in British India without trial, on mere 
suspicion of his or their being dangerous to the 
tranquillity of the country. Under this law they 
began to intern a large number of those who had 
returned from Canada and the United States and 
other places outside India, until the number reached 
to thousands. Most of them, perhaps, were kept 
only under surveillance. Yet a good many of 
them managed to put themselves into communi- 
cation with the revolutionary party in India and 
eventually organised a " widespread conspiracy " to 
subvert British rule. The Government discovered 
this conspiracy by means of spies, who entered into 
the designs of the conspirators as " agents provo- 
cateurs." It appears from the evidence subse- 
quently given before the special tribunal appointed 
to try those who were arrested in connection with 
this conspiracy, that their plans were laid out on 
a comprehensive scale, with everything organised 
in a perfect way; that full provision had been made 
for finances as well as arms, and that the army had 
been approached with more or less success at dif- 
ferent places in Northern India. At first a batch 


of about 65 were placed for trial before the special 
tribunal consisting of two English judges and one 
Indian. This tribunal was formed under the spe- 
cial law referred to above, and its decision was to 
be final in the sense that no appeal could be made 
from it to any other superior court. The tribunal 
eventually found that the conspiracy was seditious 
in its nature, and but for its timely discovery would 
have resulted in " widespread disaster." The pro- 
ceedings of the tribunal were not open to the public 
nor to the press. A brief report of the proceedings 
was issued from day to day under the authority of 
the tribunal. Some of the accused could not be 
found. Out of the 61 charged, only 4 were ac- 
quitted, 6 were sentenced to various terms of im- 
prisonment, 27 to transportation for life, 9 and 24 
to death. 10 Commenting on this trial, the Lieuten- 
ant Governor of the Punjab observed in the course 
of a speech made in the Punjab Legislative Council 
held on September 25, 191 5, that " these crimes did 
all over the Central Punjab from November, 1914, 
to July, 191 5, create a state not only of alarm and 
insecurity, but of terror and even panic, and if they 
had not been promptly checked by the firm hand of 
authority and the active co-operation of the people, 
would have produced in the province as was in- 
tended by the conspirators a state of affairs similar 
to that of Hindustan in the mutiny 11 — paralysis 

9 Some of these sentences have been reduced. 

10 In 16 cases these sentences have been commuted to life- 
long imprisonment not out of mercy as the Viceroy has him- 
self officially pointed out, but in consideration of the evidence. 

11 The great mutiny of 1857, of which more hereafter. 


of authority, widespread terrorism and murder not 
only of the officers of the Government but of loyal 
and well disposed subjects." What is significant 
is, that the leader, Rash Behari Bose, a Bengalee, 
who had organised several such conspiracies, es- 
caped. Commenting upon the same trial, the Times 
of India, an influential Anglo-Indian paper pub- 
lished in Bombay, remarked: 

" If this conspiracy had been disclosed in or- 
dinary times there might have been a tendency to 
regard the members as representative of a consider- 
able class of India . . . but, as it is, the revolu- 
tionary party stands out a mere fraction of the 
population, a dangerous and determined section of 
the population perhaps, yet so small that it can not 
command any chance of success while the sentiment 
of the country remains what it has been so splen- 
didly proved to be." 

Commenting upon the severity of the sentences 
inflicted, the Indian press took occasion to point out 
the grievous wrongs under which the country suf- 
fered at the hands of the British. After the con- 
clusion of this case, over 100 persons more were in- 
dicted at Lahore lla and a very large number at Be- 
nares, in connection with the same conspiracy. Be- 
sides, a number of men belonging to the military 
were tried and convicted in different stations in 
Northern India. 

In Bengal political crime was rampant in a viru- 

lla Six of them have been sentenced to death, 45 to transpor- 
tation for life, some to imprisonment and some have been 


lent form throughout 191 5. The Bengalee revolu- 
tionaries have kept the Government pretty busy all 
along the line, murdering police officials, looting 
treasuries, and committing dacoities, sometimes 
under the very nose of the police in the heart of 
the metropolis, resulting occasionally in so-called 
pitched battles between the police and the revolu- 
tionaries. Numberless trials have been going on 
in special tribunals constituted under the Defense of 
India Act, as well as in the ordinary courts. Large 
numbers of persons have been punished and equally 
large numbers are still undergoing trial. 

There was a serious rising in Singapore, which 
was eventually put down with the help of the Japa- 
nese and French troops, and in connection with 
which a good many European lives were lost. 
Similarly, men smuggling arms and seditious litera- 
ture, or attempting to smuggle arms, or otherwise 
carrying on anti-British propaganda, have been dis- 
covered, arrested and held in Burma, Singapore, 
Hongkong, Shanghai and Ceylon. A large number 
of Indians are in internment in Hongkong. Two 
Indian revolutionaries were deported from Japan, 
at the instance of the British Government, and sev- 
eral have been, I hear, interned in Java by the or- 
ders of the Dutch Government. Har Dayal and 
several others have been active in Europe and Asia 
Minor. The Hindu revolutionaries in the United 
States have also been busy in their propaganda. It 
is said that the Germans have been helping the In- 
dians with funds and arms. How far they did 
render any substantial help in this matter is not 


known, but the conclusion of the Lahore Special 
Tribunal, that it was known to the leaders of the 
" Gadar " party in San Francisco in 1914, that a 
war between the British and Germans was on the 
tapis in August of that year, appears to be without 
foundation. The Indians who left the United 
States in 1914 to organise a rebellion in India, were 
neither financed nor otherwise inspired by the Ger- 
mans. They went of their own accord, with their 
own money and on their own hook. Some of them 
were men of means. It may be true, however, that 
the Germans have helped the Indian revolutionaries 
with money and arms since. So much about the 


Now something about the activity of the other 
wing of the Indian nationalists. When the war 
started, all of them declared for England, some sin- 
cerely, others for reasons of expediency. All were 
influenced by hopes of advancing their cause. For 
a time the appreciation in England — in and out of 
Parliament — amply justified their expectations. 
The first shock came when the British War Office 
refused to accept the offers of the Indian students 
in British universities to enlist in the army or as 
volunteers. The same fate met the offers of edu- 
cated Indians in India. The offers made by some 
native princes and in a few cases by other members 
of the aristocracy for personal service were ac- 
cepted, otherwise no relaxation in favour of any 
Indian was made in the rules for enlistment in the 


regular army or in the volunteers. The following 
extracts from the two leading Indian dailies of Cal- 
cutta and Allahabad will explain what I mean. The 
Bengalee of Calcutta said : 

" When the war suddenly broke out in Europe 
there was a great outburst of feeling in India to 
serve the Empire in any capacity. There was a 
widespread desire among the more ardent spirits in 
this country to fight in defence of the Empire, and 
in Bengal, at any rate, there was an eager rush to 
enlist as volunteers. These young men were will- 
ing to cast aside their attitude of aloofness from 
what was primarily England's concern. They set 
before themselves a new ideal, the ideal of national 
self-realisation. By their participation in this 
struggle they felt they would be fighting the battles 
of their own freedom. It was the highest tribute 
the Government could expect from the people of 
this country of their loyalty and devotion to the 
throne. But the chill air of official scepticism 
nipped the scheme in the bud. We were told at the 
time not to embarrass the Government in any way; 
but we still lived in hopes that some means might 
be devised which would enable our young men to 
participate in this struggle so that from comrade- 
ship in arms there might arise comradeship in life 
leading to the necessary elevation of our status in 
the Empire. But a bureaucracy, with its instinctive 
disregard of others' feelings and interests, not only 
threw cold water on this salutary scheme but ap- 
plied its mind to forging new fetters of repression. 
Thus the Defense of the Realm Act came to be 


passed, which is far more' drastic and stringent than 
the similar statute in England. Internments have 
since become the order of the day. The whole 
thing offers a painful illustration of the psychology 
of the bureaucratic mind in its endeavour to breed 
loyalty and prevent disaffection. For while the 
spontaneous offer of our people, which was the out- 
come of a generous impulse and of genuine senti- 
ments of loyalty and devotion, has been refused, 
fresh doses of repression are being applied to the 
wound thus inflicted on the minds of the people. 
But the crisis is not yet over, nor has the rising tide 
of feeling in this country completely subsided. 
There is a demand for men, always for more men, 
at the front. It seems we can not have too many 
men or too much of munitions if we desire a crush- 
ing victory. All the factories of England — and 
every available factory has been utilised for the 
manufacture of munitions of war — are working 
at top speed for the production of powder and 
shells for cannon. As regards men, volunteers are 
pouring forth from Canada, Australia, New Zea- 
land and the mother country itself, in fact from all 
parts of the British Empire, except India. Can any 
one say why this invidious distinction is yet main- 
tained? Why, while gifts of every sort from us 
are gladly accepted, the most precious gift of all, 
that of personal service with all the attendant risk 
that it implies, continues to be so unwelcome? 
Lord Kitchener is still calling for men. Mr. Bonar 
Law's recent speech at Shrewsbury indicates that 
even conscription may have to be resorted to. Why 


not then accept the offers of our men? The regu- 
lar troops in the fighting line have earned no end of 
praise from the highest authorities for the display 
of their martial qualities. The Ambulance Corps 
shows the latest potentialities in our young men that 
are capable of development under proper guidance 
and training. We have not the slightest doubt that 
our volunteers would prove themselves equally fit 
and capable, no matter what the duties they are 
called upon to discharge. This war is said to be a 
war of democracy against militarism and autocracy, 
a holy war of justice and righteousness against the 
violation of international morality and the inde- 
pendence of small nations. Are these assertions 
strictly consistent with the refusal of our loyal offer, 
which also amounts to a denial of our equality of 
status with the rest of the Empire? If, during the 
heat of the war and in the midst of the crisis, there 
be yet observed and maintained this patent inequal- 
ity of treatment and this assertion of racial su- 
periority, how can we expect that they will be alto- 
gether forgotten or cast aside after the war when 
the readjustment comes to be made? Repression, 
we repeat for the hundredth time, is a disintegrat- 
ing force. It alienates sympathies, destroys union 
and throws people into camps. Co-operation on 
the other hand is a healing and a cementing prin- 
ciple. But without equality of treatment there can 
not be any co-operation, and without co-operation 
there can not be any prospect of permanent peace. 
By accepting our offer the Government may give an 
earnest of future reforms and concessions. It will 


sensibly ease and improve the situation both here 
and at the front. But bureaucracy has so far failed 
to realise the situation and avail itself of the op- 
portunity. Let not the words ' too late ' be written 
by the future historian, regarding the action of the 
bureaucracy in this chapter of the history of India. 
. . . India wants equality of status with the rest of 
the Empire, and as a means to this end her sons 
want to fight as volunteers in this war; and if what 
Burke has said be true of Englishmen, neither the 
one nor the other of India's claims can be justly de- 
nied to her." 

In its issue of September 8, 191 5, the Leader, of 
Allahabad, said : 

" The not unkindly critics of John Bull have 
often remarked that he has got a stolid tempera- 
ment and an unemotional nature. The occasions 
are few and far between when he allows himself to 
be swayed by any strong outburst of passion. One 
such exception to this general course of conduct was 
furnished last year at the outbreak of the war. . . . 
When Lord Hardinge wired to England the mes- 
sage of India, her ungrudging and whole-hearted 
response to the call of the hour, its announcement 
in the House of Commons touched the deepest 
chords in the hearts of Englishmen. Then, for 
once, they let themselves go. There was almost a 
storm of English emotion. Even the Times 
thought that it foreshadowed a great change in the 
relations of India and England. ' Asiaticus ' joined 
the chorus and swelled the paean of the praise of 
Indian loyalty. He recanted his words of former 


days. He even praised Mr. Tilak. Mr. Roberts 
spoke of a change in the angle of vision. Other 
statesmen and other papers uttered the same lan- 
guage of joy and hope. All this naturally raised 
the hopes of India. Some, more imaginative than 
others, conjured up visions of glory. They imag- 
ined they could see the distant gleam of self-gov- 
ernment. Others again, with a less imaginative 
nature, thought that even if self-government was 
still a far-off dream, they might yet see better days. 
The landing of Indian troops on the European soil 
was the signal for the outburst of another demon- 
stration of feeling. Their heroic deeds, their un- 
questioning devotion to duty, formed the theme of 
sketch writers and leader writers in the English 
press. And yet to any one who has closely fol- 
lowed the course of events during the last six or 
seven months and studied the writings of the Eng- 
lish press and the utterances of notable Englishmen 
in England and India, nothing is more clear than 
that an ominous reserve has again overtaken the 
English mind. Mr. Bonar Law talks of a consulta- 
tion with the colonies, and forgets the very exist- 
ence of India. Mr. Austen Chamberlain, since the 
day he assumed his office, has put a seal on his lips, 
and, whatever may flow beneath the surface from 
Downing Street to Delhi or Simla, nothing has 
fallen from his lips that can inspire confidence or 
kindle hope. The House of Lords have already 
given their reply to a sympathetic Viceroy, when, 
in the name of avoiding controversial issues, they 


shelved the question of an Executive Council for 
these provinces, which is another way of saying that 
they strangled it. Lord Curzon, Lord MacDonnel 
and Lord Sydenham are not likely to learn the wis- 
dom which the force of events would teach to more 
plastic minds. If Indian students in England ap- 
proach the higher authorities with a prayer that they 
may be admitted to the Officer's Training Corps, 
they are told to wait — indefinitely. If Sir George 
Scott Robertson, with imprudent enthusiasm, sug- 
gests the creation of an Indian guard, he is roundly 
told that he is impatient. ' Asiaticus ' has again 
frankly gone back upon his short-lived liberalism, 
and Sir Valentine Chirol is no better. Conven- 
ience suggests the postponement of discussion of the 
Indian Budget, and the statute allows it. Out here 
in India the doctrine of unconditional loyalty is 
held up to us. We are told that it is a folly, if not 
a crime, to talk of what may come to India when 
the time for readjustment comes. Meanwhile In- 
dian speculation, so natural to a nation of specula- 
tors, is roaming free. Hopes spring up only to give 
place to fears. . . . 

" There are not wanting men among us also who 
have only one counsel to give, and that is, wait and 
see. No doubt the virtues of patience are great, 
but we think that so far as patience alone is con- 
cerned India may easily throw out a challenge to 
any nation in the world. If India will not help 
herself she will have little reason to grumble if 
others will not help her, Let us distinctly tell Eng- 


land that the time for half measures and gingerly 
reform has gone and that for bold and courageous 
steps has come." 

The Indian National Congress, the official or- 
ganisation of the constitutional party, held its an- 
nual session at Madras in December, 1914. In the 
course of his speech, the President remarked : 

" If English rule in India meant the canonisation 
of a bureaucracy, if it meant perpetual domination 
and perpetual tutelage, and increasing dead-weight 
on the soul of India, it would be a curse to civilisa- 
tion and a blot on humanity." 

Again he asks complainingly : 

" The right to carry arms, the right to bear com- 
missions in the Army and lead our men in the cause 
of the Empire, the right to form volunteer corps in 
the defence of hearth and home, how long will these 
be denied to the Indian people? How long will 
India toddle on her feet, tied to the apron-strings 
of England? It is time she stood on her own legs. 
If England were obliged, as was Imperial Rome in 
her day, to abandon India in the hour of some great 
danger, what could be more humiliating to England 
and to India alike, than for India to be left unarmed 
and untrained in the use of arms, as her civil popu- 
lation now is, a prey to internal anarchy and ex- 
ternal aggression? What a commentary would it 
be, on 150 years of British rule in India, that Eng- 
land found the people strong though disunited and 
left them helpless and emasculated? " 


At Christmas, 19 15, the Congress again met 
under the presidency of Sir S. P. Sinha, who was 
in 1908 the first Indian appointed to be a mem- 
ber of the Governor General's Executive Council, 
the British Cabinet in India. In the words of an 
Indian magazine, the speech delivered by him as 
coming from a man who has obtained " wealth, high 
position and honour " from the British connection 
and who has been " in the inner Councils of the 
Government," is most significant in its ideals as 
well as demands. His ideal of a government 
for India has been borrowed from Abraham Lin- 
coln of the United States, viz., " Government of 
the people, by the people, for the people." He 

" What I do say is that there should be a frank 
and full statement of the policy of Government as 
regards the future of India, so that hope may come 
where despair holds sway and faith where doubt 
spreads its darkening shadow, and that steps should 
be taken towards self-government by the gradual 
development of popular control over all depart- 
ments of Government and by removal of disabilities 
and restrictions under which we labour both in our 
own country and in other parts of the British Em- 

Among the definite reforms and remedial and 
progressive measures which he demands are : 

" Firstly — The grant of commissions in the army 
and military training for the people. 

" Secondly — The extension of local self-govern- 


" Thirdly — The development of our commerce, 
industries and agriculture." 

Regarding the first he goes into details as fol- 

" i st. We ask for the right to enlist in the 
regular army, irrespective of race or province or 
origin, but subject only to prescribed tests of physi- 
cal fitness. 

" 2nd. We ask that the commissioned ranks of 
the Indian army should be thrown open to all classes 
of His Majesty's subjects, subject to fair, reason- 
able and adequate physical and educational tests, 
and that a military college or colleges should be 
established in India where proper military training 
can be received by those of our countrymen who 
may have the good fortune to receive His Majesty's 

" 3rd. We ask that all classes of His Majesty's 
subjects should be allowed to join as volunteers, 
subject of course to such rules and regulations as 
will ensure proper control and discipline, and 

"4th. That the invidious distinctions under the 
Arms Act should be removed. This has no real 
connection with the three claims, but I deal with it 
together with the others as all these disabilities are 
justified on the same ground of political expedi- 

As to the reasons why we should have self-gov- 
ernment, he said : 

" A British Premier early in this century very 
truly observed, ' Good government can not be a 
substitute for self-government.' Says a recent 


writer in a well-known British periodical, * Every 
Englishman is aware that on no account, not if he 
were to be governed by an angel from heaven, 
would he surrender that most sacred of all his 
rights, the right of making his own laws. . . . He 
would not be an Englishman, he would not be able 
to look English fields and trees in the face, if he had 
parted with that right. Laws in themselves, have 
never counted for much. There have been benefi- 
cent despots and wise law-givers in all ages who 
have increased the prosperity and probably the con- 
tentment and happiness of their subjects but yet 
their government has not stimulated the moral and 
intellectual capacity latent in citizenship or fortified 
its character or enlarged its understanding. There 
is more hope for the future of mankind in the least 
and faintest impulse towards self-help, self-realisa- 
tion, self -redemption, than in any of the lazvs that 
Aristotle ever dreamt of. 12 The ideal, therefore, 
of self-government is one that is not based merely 
on emotion and sentiment, but on the lessons of 

What is, however, most significant, is his reply 
to the criticism often made by ignorant and preju- 
diced Englishmen and others as to what would be 
the fate of India if England were to withdraw from 
India and as to the Indians' fitness to manage their 
affairs or to fight their battles. He observes : 

" I take leave to point out, therefore, that it is not 
correct, at any rate at the present time, to assert 
of any sections of the Indian people that they are 
12 The italics are mine. 


wanting in such physical courage and manly virtues 
as to render them incapable of bearing arms. But 
even if it were so, is it not the obvious duty of 
England so to train them as to remove this inca- 
pacity, especially if it be the case, as there is some 
reason to believe, that it is English rule which has 
brought them to such a pass? England has ruled 
this country for considerably over 150 years now, 
and surely it cannot be a matter of pride to her at 
the end of this period that the withdrawal of her 
rule would mean chaos and anarchy and would 
leave the country an easy prey to any foreign ad- 
venturers. There are some of our critics who 
never fail to remind us that if the English were to 
leave the country to-day, we would have to wire 
to them to come back before they got to Aden. 
Some even enjoy the grim joke that were the Eng- 
lish to withdraw now, there would be neither a 
rupee nor a virgin left in some parts of the country. 
I can conceive of no more scathing indictment of 
the results of British rule. A superman might 
gloat over the spectacle of the conquest of might 
over justice and righteousness, but I am much mis- 
taken if the British nation, fighting now as ever for 
the cause of justice and freedom and liberty, will 
consider it as other than discreditable to itself that 
after nearly two centuries of British rule India has 
been brought to-day to the same emasculated con- 
dition as that of the Britons in the beginning of the 
fifth century 13 when the Roman legions left the 
English shores in order to defend their own coun- 
13 The italics are mine. 


try against the Huns, Goths and other barbarian 

The reader may well compare this with the fol- 
lowing observation made by the present writer in a 
pamphlet 14 recently issued by him on the political 
situation in India. 

" The whole world is free to keep arms and use 
arms. Every civilised nation is interested in giv- 
ing a military training to her boys and citizens and 
in teaching them the use of arms and other military 
tactics. Some countries do this by conscription, 
others do it on a voluntary basis. No government 
entitled to be called sane thinks of denying arms to 
such of its people as want to use them for legiti- 
mate purposes. The free possession of arms and 
free training in military tactics for purposes of in- 
dividual and national defence is the birthright of 
every son of a mother. Even the Amir of Kabul 
does not deny that to his people. Nations are 
vying with each other in their military preparations 
and in giving military training to their citizens. 
Even China is thinking of introducing conscription. 
In Japan military training is compulsory. In some 
places even the girls learn the use of arms and prac- 
tise fencing. In the United States as well as in the 
other States of America the negroes and the Ameri- 
can Indians can keep arms and receive military 
training. But the Indians of India can not keep 
arms. Every nation is interested in the manufac- 
ture of arms and ammunition and in inventing 

14 Some Reflections on the Political Situation in India, by 
La j pat Rai, pp. 24-27. 


effective methods of dealing with their enemies. 
Governments give every encouragement to those 
who invent new arms or improve old ones. All 
this is denied to the Indians. 15 Why? Because 
they are a subject people. Their government can- 
not trust them. The strength of the native army 
in India cannot exceed a certain proportion of the 
British army ; they cannot handle the artillery ; and 
numerous other restrictions are imposed upon the 
possession and use of arms by them. Why? Are 
they not fit to handle arms? Are they not brave? 
Are they intemperate? None of these things can 
be said of them. Yet no Indian can get a commis- 
sioned rank, however high by birth or social posi- 
tion, however fit by education. No Indian can be 
admitted into a military college in India or in Great 
Britain. Why? Are they unfit, or intellectually 
and physically imbeciles? The truth is that the 
Government of India, not being their own govern- 
ment, they cannot be trusted. They can be en- 
rolled as mere soldiers and that only in certain 
numbers. Beyond that they cannot get any mili- 
tary training or military rank. Nor can the civil 
population be trusted to keep arms, much less to 

15 The ludicrous extent to which the prohibition to keep and 
use arms has been carried will be better illustrated by the fol- 
lowing incident reported by the Bengalee of Calcutta. 

" A five year old boy of Munshi Ganj Road, Kidderpore, had 
a toy pistol purchased for one anna. On the 8th of August 
last the child was playing with it but could not explode the 
paper caps. A thirteen year lad showed him how to do it. 
The boy was at once arrested by a beat constable and marched 
off to the Wat Ganjthana with the fire arm. The boy was 
eventually sent up for trial at Alipur and the Court fined him 
three rupees." 


manufacture them. Much fuss has been made 
over the Indians having been allowed to participate 
in the European War. The Indians have gone mad 
over the incident, as if that were the greatest boon 
that could be conferred on them. The truth is that 
the step was actuated by and taken purely in British 
interests. Without the Indian contingent Great 
Britain could not send a decent expeditionary force 
to France. The whole of the white army could not 
be removed from India. In removing large num- 
bers of them, it was necessary to remove propor- 
tionately large numbers of the native army also. 
The British Government is always distrustful of 
the native army. No amount of false statements 
and fallacious reasoning can conceal the fact that 
the British in India cannot allow the Indians to 
manufacture or carry arms, cannot give them a 
military training, cannot even keep a large native 
army (more than double the strength of the perma- 
nent British garrison) because, being foreigners, 
they cannot trust them. They fear that some day 
the arms or military training given them may be 
used against themselves. Looking at it from their 
point of view, perhaps, it cannot be said that they 
may not be right. But then, why ask the Indians 
to accept the pretence that the Government is na- 
tional, and that they are the equal subjects of the 
crown; why hide the truth and make false and 
hypocritical declarations to the contrary? The 
British know the weakness of their rule in India, 
and in the disarming of the people they see the best 
guarantee of the continuance of their own rule and 


power. In the matter of arms, the present situa- 
tion in India is this. One may steal arms ; one may 
smuggle them ; one may illicitly purchase them, 
from those who have the freedom of possessing, for 
the purpose of committing crime, but one cannot 
have them for defending his life and property, or 
the life and honour of his family (wife, mother, 
sisters, and daughters). 16 

" It is this which gives awful power to the law- 
less portions of society and which explains the 
losses and hardships of those who have suffered 
from the depredations of the latter and are suffer- 
ing from dacoities and robberies and murders in 
Bengal and Punjab and elsewhere. There are 
plenty of arms in the country for the criminal, but 
none for the peace-loving (who only want them for 
defensive purposes). All this because the Govern- 
ment of India is a foreign government which cannot 
trust its subjects and which does not believe in their 
loyalty. In the light of this fact, all talk about 
the extraordinary outburst of loyalty becomes stale. 
So long as this state of things continues, it is use- 
less for the Government to expect that the people 
can accept it and treat it as if it was their own 
national government. Never before, since the in- 
troduction of British rule in India, was the sense 
of helplessness, that arises out of the consciousness 

16 Commenting on the annual report of the issue of licenses 
the Indian press have made similar statements. The Pun- 
jabee says " while the ruffians bent on crime have been 
able to secure fire arms by foul means, the law abiding section 
of the community have for the most part continued helpless 
owing to the difficulties of obtaining licenses for fire arms." 
See also Bengalee of the 6th Oct. 1915. 


of being a disarmed people, brought home to the 
people of India so vividly and strongly as dur- 
ing the war. A new fear has dawned on the pub- 
lic mind. Suppose the British lose, we are lost, 
says the Indian. The Germans may come or the 
Russians or even the Amir of Kabul, we can- 
not even make a show of resistance. A people so 
helpless and dependent deserve to be despised by 
the world. The war has made the Indian feel that, 
as a British subject, he is really a despicable crea- 
ture entitled to no consideration at the hands of 
the other people of the world. Even the negroes 
(whether in Africa or America) are much better 
placed than he is. The prayers of Indian C. I. E.'s 
and Rai Bahadurs and Khan Bahadurs notwith- 
standing, the British cannot be invincible forever. 
The time is to come when their prowess in arms 
will decay. What will then be the fate of India 
and Indians? Will they be transferred like sheep? 
If they are not actually transferred by agreement, 
the nation replacing the English as the world 
power will take possession of India. The very idea 
is disquieting and crushingly humiliating. But this 
is not the only circumstance which constantly re- 
minds the Indian people that their Government is 
an alien Government, whose interest in them is only 

I will give one more quotation on this subject, 
and this time from the speech of a Parsi gentleman 
of extremely moderate views. Says Mr. Wacha : 

" In connection with this war there is one seri- 
ous disappointment to which I cannot refrain from 


making reference in this place. Many an enlight- 
ened and intelligent person, irrespective of caste 
and creed, in every province of the Indian Empire, 
has applied, from the very date of the declaration 
of war, to go to the front and fight side by side 
with the soldiers of the regular Indian army. 
Even to-day thousands on thousands are willing 
and ready to take up arms in the great cause for 
which the Allies are fighting. But unfortunately, 
the permanent bureaucracy of the land has sternly, 
if politely, refused those applications, the why and 
the wherefore of which has never been made known. 
It is this attitude of the Government, in the midst 
of the great tragic crisis, that has caused the bit- 
terest disappointment to which many a leading 
organ of public opinion has given full expression. 
Russia, which has millions of population but less 
numerous than that of India, has already raised 
and is still raising a popular army full of ardour 
and patriotism to overcome the forces of the mod- 
ern Vandals who are such enemies of liberty and 
freedom. The British Colonies are similarly raising 
corps after corps to give succour to the mother 
country, but strange to say, that while millions in 
India are on the qui vive to offer their services, a 
kind of proscription has gone forth from the 
governing authorities that they shall not be en- 
rolled. This is indeed an un-English attitude 
which is unreconcilable with the entire policy of 
British administration in every other part of the 
Empire. I am only echoing the universal senti- 
ments and feelings of my countrymen when I ven- 


ture to say in this place that the Rulers of India 
still seem to mistrust the people." 

Comparing the policy of the British with Im- 
perial Rome, Mr. Wacha concludes: 

" We all devoutly hope that profiting by this 
great achievement, Great Britain will not deny any 
further to the Indian people the exercise of arms, 
the want of which for so many years has led to their 
emasculation." 17 

This word " emasculation " affords the key to the 
situation in India from the purely Indian point of 
view. Political, physical and economic " emascu- 
lation " is the keynote of British rule there, and 
however they may cloak it with wrappings of pleas- 
ant and golden words, and however they may con- 
ceal it in finely woven sentences, like the cloven 
feet it emerges at almost every step. The Modem 
Review puts it well when it says: 

" Under bureaucratic rule, India is the poorest, 
the most unhealthy and the most ignorant among 
civilised countries, and her poverty and unhealthi- 
ness are not diminishing, and education is spread- 
ing at a slower pace than that of the snail. The 
remedy is Home Rule." 

There is another brief quotation which I will 
give, from the speech of the President of the last 
session of the Indian National Congress, viz., the 
one relating to the poverty of India. He says : 
" Whatever differences of opinion may exist as to 
whether India is growing richer or poorer under 
the British rule, there is none with regard to her 

17 The italics are mine. 


extreme poverty. And there can never be political 
contentment without material prosperity, shared in 
by all classes of the people. What the District Ad- 
ministration Committee of Bengal quotes with ap- 
proval as regards Bengal, that our industrial back- 
wardness is a great political danger, applies in 
reality to the whole of India. 

" No one will be disposed to question the fact 
of this amazing backwardness. Rich in all the re- 
sources of nature, India continues to be the poorest 
country in the civilised world." 18 


I do not propose to burden this preface with 
other complaints which the Indian politicians make 
against the British Government, but I can not re- 
frain from giving one more quotation from my 
own pamphlet on the question of Education: 

" Let us look at education in India. India has 
been under British rule now for a century and a 
half in some parts, for over a century in others, and 
for at least 65 years in the Punjab. Yet the per- 
centage of illiteracy is well nigh 95 per cent., tak- 
ing the whole of India. Greatest ignorance pre- 
vails among the peasantry and the military classes, 
the two great bulwarks of British rule in India. 
What has the Government done to educate these 
classes? Nothing. Some maintain that they have 
been deliberately kept out of education because, 
once educated, they may no longer be such willing 
tools as they are now. 

18 The italics are mine. 


" Agriculture in India, as elsewhere, is the least 
paying of industries, and it is not at all strange that 
large numbers of sturdy Punjabees prefer to labour 
in other countries rather than rot on their farms 
in the Punjab. In the early years of British rule 
the educated and the trading classes flourished and 
became prosperous, but now they are thoroughly 
discontented. The native traders are no longer 
happy under British rule, ( 1 ) because the railways 
and foreign import and export offices dealing di- 
rectly with the producer and the consumer have 
ruined their business, (2) because the facilities 
available to them in the early days of British rule 
have disappeared, (3) because the bureaucracy is 
always inciting the agricultural and military classes 
against them and heaping insults on their devoted 
heads both by word and deed. In almost every 
province, special legislation has been enacted pro- 
fessedly in the interests of the agricultural classes 
but really directed against the Indian trader or 
money lender. On the other hand, what has the 
Government done to open non-agricultural pursuits 
to them? Nothing. In the whole length and 
breadth of the country there is not a single tech- 
nological institute. The private or aided techno- 
logical institutes are called by that name only by 
courtesy. In these days of international trade 
there is no provision in any of the Indian uni- 
versities for the teaching of modern languages. 
While Germans, Austrians, Italians, Americans and 
Japanese can learn Hindustanee and English in 
their own countries in order to further their trade 


with India, the Government of India has never 
given a thought to the necessity of making a pro- 
vision for the teaching of German, French, Jap- 
anese, &c, to the Indians and of encouraging In- 
dians to learn these languages. The best part of 
a boy's student life is compulsorily spent in acquir- 
ing excellence in the use of the English language. 
Indians are not supposed to know other languages 
or to trade with other countries, because the Eng- 
lish do it for them. It is not the concern of the 
British to encourage the native to have direct com- 
mercial transactions with foreign countries. There 
is not a single place in India where an Indian stu- 
dent can do research work in chemistry or other 
sciences. While the country is full of mines, there 
is no place to learn mining. Hundreds of steamers 
come and go from Indian ports, but there is no 
place in India where an Indian youth can qualify 
himself even for the merchant marine, not to speak 
of the navy. In the whole of India with its splendid 
resources, there is not a single place where ships 
can be built. The Indian Government has never 
given a thought to these questions because they do 
not concern them, because they are not interested 
in the development of the indigenous industries and 
in raising the status of the people. They have done 
a lot to encourage the produce of raw materials 
necessary for their industries or for their food 
(cotton, wheat, oil, seeds, etc.), but almost nothing 
to encourage manufacturing industries. Origi- 
nally they wanted to preserve the Indian markets 
for themselves only, but their policy of free trade 


stood in the way, and latterly the Germans and now 
the Japanese are sharing that market with them. 
But to teach the Indian to manufacture for his own 
consumption has never entered the thought of those 
responsible for the administration of India. Per- 
haps it is not right to say that it never entered their 
thought. They are too intelligent and shrewd not 
to know that they had not done their duty to India 
in these matters, but the interest of their own peo- 
ple was paramount and that they could not set 

" The British Government in India can not go 
in for universal elementary education, as there is 
danger of even greater disaffection resulting there- 
from ; they can not give technical education of a 
high order, as that might interfere with British in- 
dustries; they can not protect Indian industries for 
the same reason ; they can not provide for real high 
class commercial education with a teaching of for- 
eign languages and a knowledge of seafaring and 
navigation, as they do not want the Indians to di- 
rectly engage in oversea trade and contract relations 
with other nations. They can not protect and sub- 
sidise Indian industries, as that is opposed to free 
trade and detrimental to British industries. Yet 
they want the Indians to believe that the British 
Government in India is primarily conducted in the 
interests of India. 

" The people of India must remain ignorant, 
illiterate and industrially and commercially depend- 
ent because that benefits England and is for the ad- 
vantage of her people. 


" But that is not all. The Government of India 
can not even provide for high class education in 
sciences, in engineering, and in medicine, for the 
simple reason that the higher positions in these 
professions they want to reserve for their own peo- 
ple. Of late the number of Indians, educated and 
trained in these departments of knowledge in Brit- 
ish and other foreign universities, has so increased 
as to become rather embarrassing to the Govern- 
ment of India. They can not utilise them without 
reducing the number of Britishers in these services. 
This they do not desire. The result is that there 
are numbers of trained Indians in India with high 
class British and European qualifications who have 
to be contented with subordinate positions under 
Britishers of lesser qualifications, and perhaps, at 
times, of no qualifications. The competitive ex- 
aminations for higher services are held in England, 
which in itself is a great injustice; but this year on 
account of the war, there being fewer qualified Brit- 
ishers to compete for these services, the Govern- 
ment has resolved to discontinue 18a some of the ex- 
aminations, for fear lest a larger number of In- 
dians than is desirable might get into them. Can 
they still say that the Government of India is as 
good as or perhaps better than a national govern- 
ment ? The truth is that they do not want a larger 
number of Indians in the higher services because 

isa t he examinations have not been discontinued but statu- 
tory provision has been made for a large proportion of the 
appointments formerly filled by examination to be now filled 
by nomination. 


they can not trust them. For the same reason they 
distrust private educational institutions and insist 
upon the employment of Britishers as inspectors of 
schools and as professors in the educational service. 
They will allow a certain number of Indians in the 
higher offices but that number must not be so large 
as to make it even remotely possible for them to 
create trouble for the Government. The same fear 
underlies the administration of local bodies and the 
constitution and powers of the Councils. It is 
simply begging the question to argue that Indians 
are not yet ready or fit for representative institu- 
tions. The real question is the dread of power 
passing from the Britishers into Indian hands. 19 
It is this dread that is the dominating influence in 
the policy of the British Government in India. 
India is a possession and a dependency and must be 
administered in the best interests of the master. 
Many credulous Indians talk of the liberty-loving 
traditions of the British democracy, but they for- 
get that the application of these traditions to India 
would make such big holes in their safes, purses, 
and incomes, that they as men swayed by self-in- 
terest and love of power and glory, can never think 
of enforcing these principles in India. The British 
are good people. In all personal dealings they are 
honest, frank, and reliable. But when national in- 
terests are at stake and when the interests of the 

19 Mr. Lowes Dickinson, an English Professor who has 
largely travelled in India, has practically admitted the truth of 
this remark. (P. 23, An Essay on the Civilisation of India, 
China, and Japan. See also pp. 27 and 28.) 


nation dictate a different line of policy, they can not 
help following the latter, however much injustice 
and hardship they may inflict upon others in doing 
so. The English political moralist and thinker be- 
lieves and preaches that the state exists for the 
people, that state and people are really interchange- 
able words, and that the teachings of Treitschke, 
that the state is greater than the people and that the 
latter exists for the former, is immoral and vicious. 
In Great Britain and the Colonies the British act 
as they believe, but in India they follow the doc- 
trines of the German professor. The state in 
India is an authority imposed from without and is 
therefore distinct from and independent of the 
people. 20 The state in India is the British people, 
and therefore the interests of the latter must over- 
ride those of the Indian people. Everything in 
India is judged by that standard. The English 
may be good, benevolent, just, kind, and fair- 
minded, but all these virtues are dominated by the 
supreme test mentioned above. All the real 
troubles of India arise from this circumstance. 
Everything connected with India is looked at from 
this angle. Unless this angle changes there is no 
possibility of any such changes taking place in the 
system and the policy of the Government of India 
as are likely to satisfy the self-respect of the Indian 
or to remove the disadvantages from which the 
country suffers." 

20 The Pioneer of Allahabad, a semi-official organ of the 
Anglo-Indians, has in a recent issue said that " The safety of 
the State is and must be of far greater importance than the 
rights of the individuals." 



The most significant development of National- 
ism, however, that has taken place in the last year, 
is the unity between the Hindus and the Moham- 
medans on the question of self-government. It is 
remarkable how the war has united the Hindus and 
the Mohammedans, not only in their expressions of 
loyalty to the Government, but also in their demand 
for Home Rule and in their dissatisfaction with 
the prevailing political conditions in India. For 
the first time in the history of Indian Nationalism, 
the Indian National Congress and the All-India 
Muslim League have met in the same city. This 
was opposed with the whole of their might by the 
Ultra-Loyalists among the Mohammedans under 
the inspiration of their Anglo-Indian masters. The 
younger generation of the Mohammedans, however, 
is so thoroughly filled with the idea of National- 
ism that they carried the day and succeeded in hold- 
ing a very successful session of their league at 
Bombay in the same week in which the Indian Na- 
tional Congress was holding its session in that city. 
The result was that the members of both organisa- 
tions met, compared notes, exchanged civilities, and 
found out that there was practical unity among 
them on all the important questions bearing upon 
their relations with the Government. The Muslim 
League President made pronouncements demand- 
ing self-government, free compulsory education, 
governmental help in industrial development, re- 
moval of restrictions against the progress of In- 


dian industries, in almost the same terms and with 
the same emphasis, if not even greater, than the In- 
dian National Congress did. Both the organisa- 
tions appointed a joint committee to draw up a 
scheme of Home Rule which would meet the needs 
and the approval of both the great religious com- 
munities inhabiting that great country. 

During the last year a scheme has been floated 
by Mrs. Annie Besant, the president of the Theo- 
sophical Society, a woman of great ability and of 
world-wide fame, who has adopted India as her 
home, but who at the same time is a patriotic Eng- 
lishwoman, to organise a Home Rule League for 
India, separate from and independent of both the 
Indian National Congress and the All-India Mus- 
lim League. This proposal has met with the ap- 
proval of the advanced members of both the Hindu 
and Mohammedan communities. Some leaders of 
the Indian National Congress, however, see a dan- 
ger to their Congress in the growth and develop- 
ment of the Home Rule League. But it is won- 
derful how the idea has caught hold of the public 
mind. Practically the whole of the Nationalist 
press and the Nationalist platform, with a few 
minor exceptions, have declared in favour of the 
proposal. The supporters of the Home Rule 
League met at Bombay to formally decide the ques- 
tion of giving practical effect to the idea which has 
received the joint support of both the Hindus and 
the Mohammedans. Mrs. Besant, however, her- 
self, has shrunk from organising it just now, out 
of deference to the opinions of some of the leaders 


of the Indian National Congress, pending the re- 
port of the joint committee formed to formulate a 
scheme of Home Rule suited to India. Indian Na- 
tionalism has thus advanced very much during the 
last year. We have the two movements — one 
representing force, the other peaceful agitation — 
side by side, as has been the case in the history of 
similar movements in other countries. One move- 
ment represents the more virile section of the popu- 
lation who believe in force, violence and terror- 
ism; the other, those who depend upon appeal to 
reason, justice and conscience. The combined 
force of both, however, produces a momentum 
which is sure to become irresistible in the course 
of time. What is extremely hopeful is the entirely 
changed attitude of the Mohammedan community. 
The British wished for and tried to create an Ulster 
among the Mohammedans of India. They had 
well nigh succeeded, but the last three or four years 
have brought about a complete change. The Mo- 
hammedan masses had really never joined the edu- 
cated Mohammedan Separatists, but even the latter 
have now found out that the policy of separation 
from the Hindus which was in their minds for some 
time, can not eventually bring any lasting good tc 
their community. With their Hindu countrymen 
they feel that India must occupy the first place in 
their affections and thoughts, and that it was not 
inconsistent for them to be Mohammedans in re- 
ligion and Indians in politics. Similarly, the 
Hindu sentiment, that was growing somewhat anti- 
Mohammedan on account of the Mohammedan sen- 


timent of separation, has been greatly softened. 
The Mohammedans have begun to feel that they 
can share in the ancient glory of India without an 
outrage to their Mohammedanism. The Hindus 
have come to realise that after all the Mohammedan 
rule in India was not so bad or tyrannical and op- 
pressive as they were told it was by interested his- 
torians. The Mohammedans feel that they can be 
as proud of the Hindu heroes, Rama and Krishna, 
of the Hindu Epics, the Ramayana and the Mahab- 
harta, of Hindu science and Hindu philosophy, as 
the Hindus themselves are, without being false to 
their religion or to their community. Similarly the 
Hindus feel that they can be as proud of a 
Sher Shah and an Akbar and a Shah Jahan, of 
Alberuni, of Ibn Batuta, of Abul Fazal, Faizi and 
Galib, as the Mohammedans can be. Nay, they can 
go a step further and say that even Aurangzeb was 
not, after all, so bad as they had supposed him to be. 
The Hindus and Mohammedans have discovered 
that they can take part in their respective festivals 
and take pride in their respective past, without in 
any way being traitors to their respective religions 
and communities. 


That the above statements are not mere creations 
of my own brain, but are based on fact, will be 
easily seen from the following extracts which I 
make from the speech of the President of the last 
session of the All-India Muslim League held at 
Bombay in December, 191 5. 


First, about the representative character of the 
assembly, Mr. Mazhar-ul-Haq remarked : 

" Please accept my sincere and heartfelt thanks 
for the great honour you have done me by electing 
me the President of the All-India Muslim League 
this year. It is a proud privilege to preside over 
and guide the deliberations of this distinguished 
gathering, where representatives of seventy millions 
of his Britannic Majesty's Indian Muslim subjects 
are assembled in conference for the betterment of 
their condition, and for counsel and consultation 
together on the affairs of their country." 

About the difficulties of the times he says : 

" Times are most unpropitious for expressing 
views and convictions which, in normal times of 
peace, there would have been no harm in frankly 
and unreservedly putting before our community mid 
our Government. The present terrible conflict of 
nations enjoins upon us the paramount duty of say- 
ing or doing nothing which would embarrass or 
weaken the hands of our Government by producing 
undesirable excitement in the people, or lead to any 
impression upon foreign nations that we are in any 
way inimical or even indifferent to the best interests 
of the Empire." 

As to how Islam established itself in India, how 
it spread and what is the present position of the 
Mohammedans of India, he speaks as follows: 

" The first advent of the Muslims in India was 
along these very coasts 21 in the form of a naval 
expedition sent by the third Khali f in the year 
21 The Western Coast. 


636 A. d. This was more than four hundred years 
before William the Conqueror defeated the Saxons 
at the battle of Hastings. After many vicissitudes, 
into the details of which it is unnecessary to go, the 
Muslim Empire was firmly established in India. 
These invaders made India their home and did not 
consider it a land of regrets. They lived amongst 
the people of the country, mixed with them freely 
and became true citizens of India. As a matter of 
fact they had no other home but India. From time 
to time their number was strengthened by fresh 
blood from Arabia, Persia and other Muslim lands, 
but their ranks were swollen mainly by additions 
from the people of the country themselves. It is 
most interesting to know that out of the present 
seventy millions of the Muslim population, those 
who have claimed their descent from remote non- 
Indian ancestors amount only to eight millions. 
Whence have the remaining millions come, if not 
from Indian ranks? The Muslims enriched the 
hoary civilisation of India with their own litera- 
ture and art, evolved and developed by their cre- 
ative and versatile genius. From the Himalayas 
to Cape Comorin the entire country is studded with 
those gems of art which remind one of the glorious 
period of Muslim rule. The result was a new 
civilisation which was the outcome of the combined 
efforts of all the peoples of India and the product of 
the two great civilisations in the history of the 
world. During Muslim times all offices were 
equally opened to all, without any distinction of 
class, creed or colour. The only conditions were 


fitness and efficiency. So we have the spectacle of 
a Hindu prime minister, a Hindu commander-in- 
chief, a Hindu finance minister, and a Hindu gov- 
ernor of Kabul. Ethnology and folklore of India 
speak eloquently of manners and customs showing 
the influence of one people upon the other. The 
only link which the Muslims kept with the countries 
outside India was the spiritual link of their religion. 
This was under the circumstances inevitable. This 
short historical retrospect may be succinctly ex- 
pressed in two words which fully and clearly de- 
scribe the elements and conditions of our existence 
in India. We are Indian Muslims. These words, 
' Indian Muslims,' convey the idea of our nation- 
ality and of our religion, and as long as we keep 
our duties and responsibilities arising from these 
factors before our eyes, we can hardly go wrong. 

" Indian Muslims are Indians first ! 

" About what we owe to our non-Muslim fellow 
subjects I have never concealed my opinion, and I 
can only repeat here what I have often said. I am 
one of those who have never taken a narrow and 
sectarian view of Indian politics. When a ques- 
tion concerning the welfare of India and of justice 
to Indians arises I am not only an Indian first, but 
an Indian next and an Indian to the last, an Indian 
and an Indian alone, favouring no community and 
no individual, but on the side of those who desire 
the advancement of India as a whole without preju- 
dice to the rights and interests of any individual, 
much less of any community, whether my own or 


" Policies and principles of a nobler kind may be 
laid down by higher authorities, but their value is 
determined by those who have to carry them out. 
Thus it has often been the case in India that noble 
intentions have degenerated into pious wishes and 
even into harmful actions. If the Indian people 
were real partners in the actual governance of the 
country, the Indian point of view would have pre- 
vailed, much that is now admitted to have been mis- 
taken would have been avoided, the country would 
have progressed and the ruling classes would have 
been spared the bitter and sometimes undeserved 
criticisms hurled against them. Unless and until 
India has got a national government and is gov- 
erned for the greatest good of the Indian people, I 
do not see how she can be contented. India does 
not demand ' a place in the sun ' in any aggressive 
sense, but she does require the light of the Indian 
sun for her own children. 

" Gentlemen, let us descend a little from the gen- 
eralities into details and see how the policy of the 
past has worked not only to our detriment, but to 
the positive weakening of the British rule itself. 
Let us see what small share we have in the larger 
life of the Empire. I have already said that we 
have no share in laying down the policy upon which 
India is ruled. Have we any share even in the dif- 
ferent Services of the country? Are we allowed to 
serve our own land and the Empire to the best of 
our capacity and ability? In every country the 
three premier Services are considered to be the 
Military, the Naval and the Diplomatic. 


" Let us begin with the Military. In spite of the 
numerous martial races who inhabit India in mil- 
lions, no Indian can rise above the non-commis- 
sioned ranks. We can not hope to gain a higher 
position than that of a Subadar-Major or a Risal- 
dar-Major. Every position that would give us an 
independent command is closed to us. The regular 
army is limited in number, no volunteers are taken 
from our ranks and the general population is 
rigorously disarmed. The Arms Act perpetuates 
invidious distinctions on grounds of colour and 
creed — distinctions most humiliating to the people 
of the country. Going about their ordinary daily 
occupations our people may be attacked by dacoits 
and evilly disposed persons or even by wild beasts, 
but they can not defend themselves. Even lathis 22 
have been held by some judicial authorities to be 
dangerous weapons. Newspapers and official com- 
muniques tell us that ordinary Naiks of our Indian 
Army have on the battlefield conducted themselves 
most bravely and have led their companies with con- 
spicuous gallantry and ability at times when all the 
English officers were either killed or disabled. If 
our men are capable of such initiative and valiant 
deeds on the actual field of battle, why, Indians 
naturally ask, should they not be trusted in the 
piping times of peace? Had they only been trained 
and allowed to serve, millions and millions would 
have sprung to the side of England at her slightest 
call in this, the hour of her need. Indeed, no other 
nation of the world has such an inexhaustible 

22 Heavy wooden sticks. 


source of strength as Great Britain has in the teem- 
ing masses of India, but India has been so maimed 
and crippled in her manhood that she can help 
neither herself nor Great Britain. The idea is 
galling and humiliating that, if a time came when 
India was in danger, her own sons would not be 
able to save their hearths and homes, or the honour 
and lives of their wives and children, but would 
have to look to foreign nations like Japan and 
Russia for help and succour. Peace and order are 
the first requisites of a settled government and 
without them there would be mere chaos; but un- 
limited and long-continued peace has a tendency to 
enervate and emasculate people. To make a living 
nation, higher qualities are required. A spirit 
which will not bow before any adverse wind, an 
internal strength which will bear all toils and trou- 
bles, a determination which will flinch from no task, 
however impossible it may appear, a discipline 
which will love and be happy in the service of the 
country and the Empire, are qualities necessary for 
the attainment of that life which I call a full life. 
These moral forces can only come into play when 
people are free and unrestricted in the exercise of 
all their faculties. The profession of arms is per- 
haps one which breeds this spirit and brings out 
these potential forces more than any other. To 
close it to any portion of humanity is to turn them 
into lifeless machines. 

" In the Navy, we cannot rise above the rank of 
a lascar. Attempts are often made to keep us out 
even of this lowly position. India has a vast sea- 


board, peopled by seafaring nations. To refuse 
them their birthright is to waste so much good ma- 
terial which would have gone to increase the 
strength of the Empire. Why not have a few In- 
dian dreadnaughts and cruisers manned by Indians 
and commanded by their own countrymen? It is 
said that the Indians are not fit for the Navy. 
Having not trained and tried them, it is not just 
or fair to say so. Try them first and, if found 
wanting, then you have a right to reject them. 
The history of ancient India proves that naval ca- 
pacity is here; but it lies dormant for want of suf- 
ficient opportunity. 

" Now I pass on to the Diplomatic Service. Here 
we are conspicuous by our entire absence from it. 
What prevents the Government from utilising the 
intellect, the ability and the energy of our people in 
this direction, I fail to understand. Why should 
not some of the numerous posts of Political Resi- 
dents and Agents of India be opened to them? 

" In India, the Civil Service is considered to be 
the premier public service of the country. Here, 
too, we are circumscribed and hedged in by rules 
and regulations which make it for our people, if not 
altogether impossible, at least very difficult to enter. 
The examination which is the only possible way of 
entry for an Indian is held in London, 7,000 miles 
away from his home. Those educated youths who 
can not bear the cost and expenses of such a journey, 
are entirely debarred from it, however brilliant they 
may be. The fortunate few, who can afford to 
compete with Englishmen, have to do so in a Ian- 


guage absolutely foreign to them. Why the ex- 
aminations should not be held both in England and 
India to give the youths of both countries equal 
chances is an anomaly which passes my compre- 
hension. For a number of years the country has 
been loudly demanding this much delayed justice, 
but instead, we get the recent Indian Civil Service 
Act which has entirely abolished the competitive 
system. No doubt the operation of the Act is 
temporary, but a wrong precedent has been created, 
and no one knows to what further developments it 
will lead. 

" In the minor services of the country, such as 
Police, Forest, Education, the higher places have 
been reserved for Europeans and the children of 
the soil have been told that the doors have been 
shut against them. One would have expected that 
at least in these minor places Indians would not 
have failed, but all our protests and entreaties have 
been of no avail so far. 

" Gentlemen, I pass on now to the economical de- 
velopment of the country. Let us see what prog- 
ress we have made in this direction. Admittedly 
India is an agricultural country and its real life and 
strength is in the teeming millions of humanity who 
live in the villages, principally by agriculture. Has 
anything really been done to raise them from their 
poverty-ridden and helpless condition? In spite of 
the jugglery of figures in which the hearts of statis- 
ticians delight, what is the state of the country and 
its peasantry? Statistics are supposed to prove 
every theory advanced by men anxious to prove 


their case, but our eyes are our best witnesses and 
can not deceive us. India is a country rich in 
natural resources — resources which are not in- 
ferior to any other country in this wide, wide world. 
Her land bears every variety of crops from cotton 
and jute to wheat and mustard. Her mines pro- 
duce every kind of metal from gold and iron ores 
down to the best coal, and not excluding numerous 
precious stones. She has a climate ranging from 
the bitterest cold to the intensest heat. Her rivers 
and forests are full of life and materials useful to 
man. In short, India is a self-contained, miniature 
world. In such a country what is the condition of 
her inhabitants? No toil or trouble is spared for 
the cultivation of their fields by the wretched and 
over-worked peasantry. All that manual labour 
can do is done, but because of the want of scien- 
tific methods and other causes beyond their control, 
the profits which ought to have been theirs are lost 
to them. Side by side with green, minutely and in- 
dustriously cultivated fields, we find tiny and di- 
lapidated mud hovels thatched with old and rotten 
straw. In these hovels there are neither windows 
nor floor-cloths, and the only furniture that they 
boast of is a few earthen vessels and perhaps a 
chatai. 23 Human beings and cattle herd together 
with no arrangements for sanitation. Such are the 
conditions in which the great majority of our people 
pass their miserable existence. 

" In commerce and industry we are no better off. 
Our old indigenous industries have been killed by 
23 A straw mat. 


foreign competition and new attempts are crippled 
in the interests of other peoples than those of India. 
The instance of the cotton excise duties is before 
us — duties which have been imposed in the inter- 
ests of Manchester and Lancashire. 

" I now pass on to two of the recent repressive 
measures, the Press Act and the Defence of India 
Act. These acts have worked harshly and told 
heavily upon the persons and the properties of some 
leaders of our community. Musalmans are in- 
tensely agitated, and I should be grossly negligent 
in the discharge of my duties as the spokesman of 
Muslim India, if I failed to give voice to their feel- 
ings on the subject. On principle and by sentiment 
I object to repression and coercion, be it from the 
Government or from any section of a disaffected 

" I remember well, how and under what condi- 
tions the Press Act was passed. The members of 
the Imperial Council gave their consent to the pass- 
ing of the bill on the express understanding that the 
law was intended for the anarchists and would 
never be applied in the case of peaceful citizens 
anxious to enlighten Government officers as to the 
sentiments and feeling of the people. But what is 
the result? All the independent Muslim papers 
have either been wiped out or are dragging on a 
lifeless and miserable existence. 24 The Comrade is 
gone, The Hamdard has been strangled to death, the 
Muslim Gazette ceased to exist long ago, Al-Hilal 
is no more, the Zamindar is carrying on its colour- 

24 The italics are mine. 


less existence with a sword of Damocles always 
hanging over its head. Whoever thought that the 
Press Act would be applied in this fashion? Is it 
possible for the people not to resent such treatment 
and are their feelings to be treated so lightly? " 

The reader will notice that there is nothing in 
this book which is in any way stronger either in 
language or in sentiments than what the President 
of the All-India Muslim League has said in the quo- 
tations given above. Along with these expressions 
of discontent are also found in his address very 
strong declarations of loyalty to the Government 
and of appreciation of what they have done for 
India. The task of appraising the exact value of 
both kinds of statements may better be left to the 

This is the dawn of a new day in India which the 
British will have to reckon with. We know* that 
they are very skilful in divide et impera, but the In- 
dian people are now awake and that policy may not 
succeed so well in the future as it has in the past. 

The Indians have no desire to do anything which 
might in any way injure or harm the position of 
Great Britain as a world power. They would much 
rather gain Home Rule in India by peaceful means 
and remain a part of the British Empire than sub- 
vert British authority in India by force or seek the 
assistance of any other foreign power to gain their 
end. But in case the British continue to trample 
upon their rights and to humiliate them and to ex- 
ploit them as they have done in the past, then there 
is no knowing what they might not be tempted or 


forced to do. What is clear is this, that the num- 
ber of such Indians is growing larger and larger 
every day who are willing and ready to sacrifice 
their careers, their prospects, their happiness and 
their life at the altar of what they consider to be 
their duty to their country. 

There are others who think that their patience 
has been well nigh exhausted; who can not wait 
and would strike for their liberty at once, saying 
" Our trust is in God." 


Before concluding this introductory part of my 
study of the Nationalist Movement in India, I de- 
sire to tender my heartfelt thanks to Professor A. 
U. Pope, of the University of California, for the 
encouragement and advice he has given me in the 
preparation of this book, and to Dr. J. T. Sunder- 
land, of New York, for having read my manuscript 
and written a Foreword for me. 

The reader will, I hope, excuse me for certain 
repetitions. They are unavoidable in a book of 
this kind, where it is desirable to show that the 
different communities and classes of the Indian 
population think on the same lines in national af- 

Lastly, I have to beg the pardon of the reader 
for certain personal references which may seem to 
be self-laudatory. I have indulged in this weak- 
ness only when it was absolutely necessary for the 
continuance of the thread of the narrative. In one 
chapter I have retained the third person singular so 


as to avoid being understood that I was speaking of 

I am also conscious of the meagreness of certain 
chapters. The book is too short to be called a His- 
tory of the National Movement. It is written 
more with the object of drawing the attention of 
the civilised world to what is happening in India, 
than to prepare a complete record of the movement. 
The foreign reader can not be expected to be inter- 
ested in details. Moreover, he may never read a 
long and expensive book. Hence the studied brev- 
ity kept in view all through. Nor do I propose to 
discuss the fitness of Indians for immediate self- 
government as that would largely add to the bulk 
of the book, but for a brief and able discussion of 
the matter I may refer the reader to an article by 
the Editor in the Modern Review of Calcutta for 
February, 1916. 

Then again it is to be regretted that the illustra- 
tions are so few. I would have liked to add many 
more. Many prominent Nationalists find no place 
for the simple reason that at the time of sending 
the book to the press I have not been able to get 
their pictures. Originally there was no idea of 
having any illustrations. It is too late now to de- 
lay the publication of the book pending the receipt 
of pictures from India. Indeed the mail facilities, 
just now, are so dubious that one can not be certain 
of getting them at all so long as the war lasts. 

Lajpat Rai. 

Berkeley, California, U. S. A., 
1st of March, 19 16. 







Indian History rolls back to thousands of years 
before the Christian Era. Much of it is still en- 
veloped in mystery. What little is known has been 
discovered and put in shape within the last hundred 
years. The materials, from which the early His- 
tory of India has been prepared, have long been in 
existence, but little of them were known to the 
Western people. 

It can not be said that a complete history of 
Ancient India has been fully and finally constructed. 
What is known has been discovered bit by bit. 
Much yet remains to be found and put in order. It 
is quite unsafe, therefore, to dogmatise about the 
deficiencies of Ancient Indian civilisation. Yet 
this much can be said with certainty, that centuries 
before the birth of Christ India possessed a mar- 
vellous civilisation, a wonderful literature, a well 



organised social system, a conception of govern- 
ment based on law and on the legal rights of sub- 
jects inter se, as well as against the ruling monarch. 1 

We have, besides, ample evidences in the ancient 
literature of India, as translated and interpreted by 
Western scholars, to the effect that democratic in- 
stitutions were not unknown to Ancient India. 2 
Nor can it be said that the idea of universal sov- 
ereignty over the whole of India under one per- 
manent power was unknown to the Hindus. How 
often it was realised and for how long, can not be 
said with any certainty. 3 

First Invasion of India. The first political and 
military invasion of India known to history was 
that of Alexander the Great in 326 b. c. Alex- 
ander was no doubt victorious up to a certain point, 
but he never conquered India, nor did he occupy it. 
He did not reach even so far into the interior as 
Delhi on the Jumna. He is said to have left be- 
hind him some officers to administer the affairs of 
the conquered province, but it is a well established 
historical fact that in the conflict between Chandra 
Gupta, the Hindu, and Seleucus, the Greek, who 
was the chief ruling authority in Babylon after the 
death of Alexander, Seleucus was practically 
worsted and a peace was concluded by which the 
independence of India was fully realised. Chandra 
Gupta ruled over the whole of India north of 

1 " The Raja (*. e., the king) was not above the law." See 
Wilson's note on p. 203, vol. 1 of Mill's British India. 

2 See Rhys David's " Buddhist India." 

3 See an account of Yudhishthira's Rajsuya yajna in the 


Vindhyachal. Bengal as far east as Assam, and the 
Punjab as far west as Afghanistan, were among his 
provinces. Fortunately for us, we have enough 
independent testimony in the writings of Megas- 
thenes, the Greek Ambassador at the court of 
Chandra Gupta, and other contemporaneous Greek 
writers, as to the state of India at that time. 

Chandra Gupta and Asoka. Megasthenes' ac- 
count of the Government of Chandra Gupta and 
of the details of the administration under him, is 
enough to fill every Indian with pride. Chandra 
Gupta's organisation 4 included almost every form 
of governmental activity known to modern Europe. 
There was a separate department of labour under 
him, a separate registrar of births, deaths and mar- 
riages, a minister who looked after public charities, 
another in charge of trade and commerce, one in 
charge of agriculture, and so on. He had a great 
army, a currency and a navy. Even then the sys- 
tem of commercial papers was well known to In- 
dians, who had a great name for honesty and 
truthfulness. Their word was better than a bond. 
Chandra Gupta was followed by Asoka, perhaps the 
greatest and noblest Emperor India has had during 
the historical period. Under him the whole coun- 
try was consolidated under one imperial sway. He 
ruled not by force, but by love. His love extended 
even to animals. He is known to have organised 
hospitals for the treatment of animals. All this 
happened before Christ was born. Between 326 

4 For an account of Chandra Gupta's Government see Early 
History of India by Mr. Vincent Smith. 


b. c. and the middle of the eighth century a. d., 
India knew no foreign masters, in the sense that it 
was never ruled for any length of time from with- 
out. A few of the nomadic tribes of Central Asia 
did penetrate into India, only to be absorbed and 
assimilated by the mass of the Aryans already set- 
tled and in power there. 

The next foreign invasion of India, which was to 
leave a permanent mark on the history and institu- 
tions of India and with which starts an altogether 
separate epoch in Indian history, was by Abul 
Qasim in the middle of the eighth century. For 
full 400 years the Mohammedans knocked at the 
door of India before they could establish a kingdom 
there. The first Mohammedan King of Delhi was 
Kutb-ud-din Aibak, who established a dynasty in 
1206 a. d. The Mohammedans were in possession 
of some parts of Sindh and the Punjab between the 
eighth and the twelfth centuries, but India was not 
conquered nor the Hindus beaten until Prithvi Raj, 
the last Rajput King of Delhi, was defeated by the 
treachery of a brother Rajput chief in the year 
1 193 A. D. 

India Practically Independent up to the Twelfth 
Century. It will be thus seen that India was prac- 
tically independent up to the beginning of the thir- 
teenth century a. d. By independent, I mean that 
no foreign rule had been imposed upon it from 
without. Some parts of the northwestern prov- 
inces of the Punjab and Sindh had been for some 
time under Muslim domination, but the main terri- 
tory was under native rulers and native laws. As 


said before, the tribes that overran the northwest- 
ern parts of India between the invasion of Alex- 
ander the Great and that of Abul Qasim, came to 
settle. Once settled there, they adopted the re- 
ligion and the social life of the country and were 
merged with the natives. Thenceforth there was 
no distinction between them and the other Indian 

Muslim Rule. The Mohammedan rule over 
India lasted for six centuries with varying vicissi- 
tudes of fortune. For three centuries, from the 
thirteenth to the beginning of the sixteenth century, 
their rule was practically confined to Northern 
India. Deccan, Rajputana and Central India were 
always more or less independent until Akbar 
consolidated the whole country under his flag; 
though even he failed to vanquish Partap, the in- 
vincible Rana of Udeypore (Rajputana). 5 Partap 
was defeated, was driven out of his capital, was 
pursued and harassed, but he did not make his 
submission to the Mogul. Akbar won over to his 
side almost all the other Rajput chiefs, some by his 
prowess, others by friendship, but the Sessodia 8 
chief would not bend his knee. His countrymen 
simply worshipped him. So strong was the feel- 
ing of patriotism and the love of independence 
among the Hindus, even then, that when A-kbar one 
day announced in the Durbar that he had received 

5 It is true that parts of Deccan had been from time to time 
overrun by the Mohammedans and at least one Muslim king- 
dom had been founded there even before Akbar's time, but 
still the general statement in the text stands good. 

6 The tribal name of the House to which Partap belonged. 


a petition of submission from Partap, the Rajputs 
present in the Durbar refused to believe him. It is 
well known how one of them, Prithvi Raj, a poet, 
wrote to Partap of the indescribable grief the re- 
port had caused them, and telling him that the 
Hindu sun would set forever if Partap would 
yield; and how he received an answer that the re- 
port was wrong and that Partap would never yield 
and would keep the flag flying. That shows how 
a Hindu servant of Akbar, who had made his sub- 
mission and accepted the service of the Mogul, felt 
in the matter. Although beaten himself, he would 
not acknowledge that the Hindus had been finally 
beaten so long as Partap was resisting the Mogul 
arms. It speaks very highly of the broad-minded- 
ness of Akbar that, so far back as the sixteenth 
century, he allowed one of his Hindu captives and 
servants to speak out so boldly and plainly of his 
love of Hindu independence. Akbar, we must re- 
member, had succeeded in making alliances with 
almost all the other important Rajput houses. The 
proud Rahtores 7 had given him a daughter for a 
bride, and the Kutchwahas 7 Bikanir 7 and Boondi 7 
had also submitted. So Partap had to fight the 
combined forces of Akbar and his own brother-Raj- 
put chiefs, some of whom were related to him by 
the dearest ties of blood and marriage. Yet single- 
handed, for a quarter of a century, did he with- 
stand the efforts of the mighty empire over which 
Akbar ruled to force his submission. In the words 
7 Names of Rajput ruling families in Akbar's time. 


of Colonel Tod, it is worthy " the attention of those 
who influence the destinies of states in more fa- 
voured climes to estimate the intensity of feeling 
which could arm Partap to oppose the resources 
of a small principality against the then most power- 
ful empire in the world, whose armies were more 
numerous and far more efficient than any ever led 
by the Persians against the liberties of Greece." 

On his deathbed Partap made his successor swear 
to eternal conflict against " the foes of his coun- 
try's independence." This was in the sixteenth 
century, four hundred years after the first Muslim 
king had ascended the throne of Delhi. But a 
hundred years had hardly gone by after the event 
when the Hindus again questioned Muslim suprem- 
acy. The Sikhs in the Punjab, the Rajputs in Cen- 
tral India, and the Mahrattas in the Deccan, had 
started their campaigns before Aurangzeb died in 
1707 a. d. The Muslim supremacy was destroyed 
by the Hindus and not by the British. 

Muslim Rule in India not Foreign. Yet it is 
not right to say that the Muslim rule in India was 
a " foreign rule." The Muslim invaders were no 
doubt foreign in their origin, just as the Normans 
and Danes were when they came to England, but as 
soon as they settled in India, adopted the country, 
made it their home, married and raised children 
there, they became the sons of the soil. Akbar and 
Aurangzeb were as much Indians as are to-day the 
Moguls and Pathans in Delhi or elsewhere. Sher 
Shah and Ibrahim Lodi were no more foreigners in 


India than were the descendants of William the 
Conqueror or the successors of William of Orange 
in Great Britain. When Timur and Nadir Shah 
and Ahmad Shah Abdali attacked India, they at- 
tacked a kingdom which was ruled by Indian 
Muslims. They were as much the enemies of 
the Mohammedan rulers of India as of the Hin- 

The Muslims, who exercised political sovereignty 
in India from the thirteenth up to the middle of the 
nineteenth century a. d., were Indians by birth, In- 
dians by marriage, and Indians by death. They 
were born in India, they married there, there they 
died, and there they were buried. Every penny of 
the revenues they raised in India was spent in India. 
Their army was wholly Indian. They allowed new 
families from beyond the borders of Hindustan to 
come and settle in India, but they very rarely, if at 
all, employed people who were not willing to stay 
in India for good and to make it their home. Their 
bias, if any, against the Hindus was religious, not 
political. The converts to Islam were sometimes 
treated even with greater consideration than the 
original Muslims. Akbar, of course, did away 
with that distinction, but even the most bigoted and 
the most orthodox Mohammedan ruler of India 
was not possessed of that kind of social pride and 
social exclusiveness which distinguishes the British 
ruler of India to-day. If the racial question ever 
came into prominence during Mohammedan su- 
premacy in India, it was not between Hindus and 
Mohammedans, but between Mohammedans and 


Mohammedans, as for instance between Tuglaks 
and Pathans, or between Moguls and Lodis. 8 

In the reign of rulers like Sher Shah, Akbar, 
Jehangir, and Shah Jahan, the Hindus were eligible 
for the highest offices under the crown next after 
the princes of royal blood. They were governors 
of provinces, generals of armies, and rulers of 
districts and divisions. In short, the distinctions 
between the Hindus and Muslims were neither po- 
litical nor social. Looked at from the political and 
the economic point of view, the Government was 
as much indigenous as under Hindu rule. The 
Muslims never attempted to disarm the population; 
nor did they prohibit the manufacture or import 
of arms. They did not recruit their servants from 
Arabia, or Persia, or Afghanistan. They had no 
Lancashire industries to protect, and were under no 
necessity of imposing excise duties on Indian-made 
goods. They brought their own language and 
literature with them. For a time, perhaps, they 
transacted all government business through that 
language, but eventually they evolved a language 
which is as much Indian as any other vernacular 
spoken in India to-day. The groundwork of this 
language, which is now called Urdu or Hindustani, 
is purely Indian. The Muslim rulers of India had 
no anxiety for, and were in no way concerned with, 
the prosperity of the labouring classes of Persia or 
Afghanistan. If any one sought their patronage, 
he had to come to and settle in India. So their 

8 The history of Europe up to the 18th century is full of 
parallel disputes on racial and religious grounds. 


government was an Indian government and not a 
foreign government. 

History does not record a single instance of 
India being ruled from without, by a people of 
purely non-Indian blood and in the interests of 
another country and another people, before 
the British. 9 India was always an empire by her- 
self. She was never a part of another empire, 
much less a dependency. She had her own army, 
her own navy, her own flag. Her revenues were 
spent for her own benefit. She had her industries 
and manufactured the goods she consumed. Any 
one wanting the privilege of trading with India 
under special terms had to obtain the sanction of 
her government, as the East India Company did. 
There was no India Office in Arabia or in Persia 
or in Kabul, to which the people of India looked 
for initiative in the affairs of their native land. 


India under the British is, however, entirely dif- 
ferent. 10 For the first time in history she becomes 

9 It is said that for a short time a small portion of North- 
west India formed a province of the Empire of Darius and 
paid tribute to that monarch, but the government was all the 
same native. 

10 " The Asiatic conquerors very soon abated their ferocity, 
because they made the conquered country their own. They 
rose or fell with the rise and fall of the territory they lived in. 
Fathers there deposited the hopes of their posterity ; the chil- 
dren there beheld the monuments of their fathers. Here their 
lot was finally cast ; and it is the normal wish of all that their 
lot should not be cast in bad land. Poverty, sterility, and deso- 
lation are not a recreating prospect to the eye of man, and 
there are very few who can bear to grow old among the curses 
of a whole people. If their passion or avarice drove the Tar- 


a part of another empire. India to-day is not an 
empire by herself, but a part of the British Empire, 
as Britain once was a part of the Roman Empire. 
For the first time in history she has been reduced 
to the position of a dependency. For the first time 
in her history she is ruled from the outside. For 
the first time the Indians have been reduced to the 

tar hordes to acts of rapacity or tyranny, there was time enough, 
even in the short life of man, to bring round the ill effects of 
the abuse of power upon the power itself. If hoards were 
made by violence and tyranny, they were still domestic hoards, 
and domestic profusion, or the rapine of a more powerful and 
prodigal hand, restored them to the people. With many dis- 
orders and with few political checks upon power, nature had 
still fair play, the sources of acquisition were not dried up, and 
therefore the trade, the manufactures, and the commerce of 
the country flourished. Even avarice and usury itself opera- 
ted both for the preservation and the employment of national 
wealth. The husbandman and manufacturer paid heavy in- 
terest, but then they augmented the fund from whence they 
were again to borrow. Their resources were dearly bought, 
but they were sure, and the general stock of the community 
grew by the general effect. 

" But under the English Government all this order is re- 
versed. The Tartar invasion was mischievous, but it is our 
protection that destroys India. It was their enmity, but it is 
our friendship. Our conquest there, after twenty years, is as 
crude as it was the first day. The natives scarcely know what 
it is to see the grey head of an Englishman ; young men, boys 
almost, govern there, without society, and without sympathy 
with the natives. They have no more social habits with the 
people than if they still resided in England ; nor, indeed, any 
species of intercourse but that which is necessary to making a 
sudden fortune, with a view to a remote settlement. Animated 
with all the avarice of age, and all the impetuosity of youth, 
they roll in one after another, wave after wave, and there is 
nothing before the eyes of the natives but an endless, hopeless 
prospect of new flights of birds of prey and passage, with 
appetites continually renewing for a food that is continually 
wasting. Every rupee of profit made by an Englishman is lost 
forever to India." (Edmund Burke in a speech made in the 
House of Commons in 1783 a. d. The reflections are as good, 
to-day, as they were then.) 


position of a subject people, governed by an alien 
race residing in a different and far-off country. 
For the first time she is ruled by a sovereign who 
does not live in India, who sends out every five years 
a viceroy to administer the affairs of the country 
under the authority of a minister in a foreign land. 
For the first time her affairs are managed by people 
who come and go, under laws made outside of 
India. 11 All the chief offices of state, the direction 
and control of armies, the administration of reve- 
nues, of divisions, of districts, the coining of money, 
the administration of justice, the imposing of taxes, 
etc., are generally in the hands of foreigners who 
have absolutely no interest in the country except 
as servants of the crown, persons whose interests 
in the country cease with the expiration of their 
term of service. These servants are recruited and 
appointed out of India. Indians as such are vir- 
tually ineligible for many of these offices. During 
the 150 years of British rule in India, no Indian 
has been appointed to the governorship of any prov- 
ince. Indians are ineligible for commissions in the 
army; they cannot be enrolled as volunteers. In 
order to qualify for the Civil service of their own 
country, they have to travel six thousand miles, to 
take the chance of succeeding once in a while. 

Political Disqualification of the Indians. For 
the first time in the political history of India 
it has become a political disqualification to be an 

11 The constitution of the Government of India is settled by 
laws made by the Parliament of Great Britain, in which India 
is not represented. 


Indian. The offspring of an Englishman, domi- 
ciled in India and married to an Indian lady, loses 
in rank and status by that fact; nor does the issue 
of an Indian gentleman from an Englishwoman 
gain anything thereby. So the inferiority in both 
ways lies in Indian blood and Indian origin. The 
Muslim who married in India, or the Indian who 
married a Persian or Afghan, were not affected 
thereby in their political privileges in the Moham- 
medan regime. An Indian convert to Christianity 
is in no better position in India than a Hindu or a 
Muslim. Thus it is not a religious inferiority or 
a religious distinction, upon which the political dis- 
abilities of an Indian are based, but the fact of his 
being an Indian by blood and by birth. Never be- 
fore was India governed by a handful of officers, 
military and civil, who came to rule for a period, 
going away when that period was over, only to be 
replaced by another set equally temporary. India 
thus loses all or most of what these receive in the 
shape of money; she loses all the experience which 
they gain in the different spheres of activity that 
engages them during the period of their service in 
India; last but not least, she is deprived of the satis- 
faction and pride of claiming these men as her sons, 
who would in their turn take pride in her and feel 
as sons should for their mother. They come as 
her rulers, and till the end remain the same. Their 
sons and grandsons also may in their turn come as 
rulers, but never as sons. The sons of India, who 
gain the rank of officials, are only servants of the 
British. Their position in the Indian services is 


generally that of drawers of water and hewers of 
wood for their British masters. 

All Europeans, Eurasians including Armenians 
and Jews can carry arms free of license; not so the 
Indians. In India, the Indians only are forbidden 
to carry arms except by special permission of their 
masters; and permission is of course granted very 
sparingly and as a matter of favour, as a special con- 
cession and not as a right. The highest, the noblest, 
and the purest among the Indians has to be excepted 
from the operation of the Arms Act, as an act of 
mercy on the part of his foreign rulers. In the hills 
of his own native country, where his parents, grand- 
parents, and great grandparents before him were 
born, where they perhaps ruled or held positions of 
trust, where they died, where they fertilised the 
soil with their blood, and where within less than a 
century they enjoyed absolute freedom, he, their 
immediate descendant, must not carry an umbrella 
over his head to give him shelter from rain or sun 
without the risk of being kicked to death or being 
insulted by the lowest among the foreign masters 
of his country. 12 The hoary Himalayas, the be- 
loved abode of his most respected divinities, are in 
some places virtually shut against him because the 
" white gods " have developed a fancy for them. 

But that is not all. Even outside India he car- 
ries the badge of political subjection with him. 
The British colonies, more than any other country, 
bang their doors on him. He is a pariah all over 

12 See Sir Henry Cotton's New India (1907), pp. 68, 69 and 


the world. Considering that this is his position in 
his home, he could hardly be anything else outside. 
The British Government does not like his going 
abroad except as an indentured coolie to the Brit- 
ish colonies. He may go to England on a pleasure 
trip, but they do not want Indians there in any num- 
bers. They particularly dislike his going to Amer- 
ica and settling there. The reason is obvious. 
Travelling abroad gives him opportunities of com- 
paring British rule in India with the forms of 
government prevailing in other countries. Free at- 
mosphere and free environment raise aspirations 
which are dangerous, at any rate inconvenient 
to British supremacy in India. Moreover, they ef- 
fectively break down the hypnotism which has so 
far enthralled the Indian mind in its judgments re- 
garding British character. On his return to India, 
a travelled Indian becomes a centre of discontent. 
In the course of their travels some Indians meet 
the free-thinkers and revolutionaries of Europe and 
learn their methods. All this is naturally disliked 
by the British. 

Therefore, of late, the British have been taking 
steps to discourage foreign travelling on the part 
of Indians. They have been trying to keep Indian 
students out of Great Britain by imposing condi- 
tions which are repellent. They have raised the 
educational standards which had formerly secured 
them admission into British universities and Brit- 
ish Inns of Court. They have organised an official 
bureau in London which, ostensibly acting as their 
guardian and adviser, discourages them from enter- 


ing British universities, keeps a vigilant eye on their 
movements, reports on their conduct to the authori- 
ties at home, and insists upon their seeking admis- 
sion to British educational institutions through it. 13 
At all Indian ports there are police officers present, 
who note down the names of, and particulars re- 
lating to, every Indian who leaves Indian shores. 
Thenceforth two eyes are almost always watching 
him, go wherever he may. 

To him, the British embassies in the different 
countries of the world mean nothing. He is afraid 
of seeking their help, first for fear of getting a 
rebuff and being insulted, second because he is 
afraid of circumstances being created which might 
force his early departure from that country. His 
wrongs are nobody's wrongs. He may be as- 
saulted, nay, even killed, or insulted, or robbed, or 
ill-treated, yet he has no government to look to his 
interests. The British Government does not resent 
other countries' excluding him; they are rather 
happy at it and in some cases are understood to 
have exercised their influence against his entry into 
foreign countries. The self-governing dominions 
of the British Empire have built a solid wall of 
most revolting and inhuman laws and regulations 
against his entry into those dominions. He cannot 
go there, even on a pleasure trip or for study, except 
by submitting to impossible tests or most revolting 

13 In England this is the view of the bulk of the Indian 
student community. The Government, of course, repudiates 
that view. 


In this respect he is much better treated by non- 
British countries. Till recently he could come and 
go there quite freely. No European country bars 
his visits. Of late the United States, it is said, at 
the instance of the British Government, has been 
following a policy of exclusion. But once in the 
country, all universities and institutions receive 
him, provided he fulfils their conditions and com- 
plies with their regulations. That much, however, 
cannot be said of Great Britain. It is true that 
Great Britain imposes no restrictions on his coming 
and going, as she imposes no restrictions on any 
one else's coming and going, but there are British 
institutions which would not admit him as a stu- 
dent, however high his social position or status may 
be. Even those institutions which admit him for 
study, discriminate against him in the matter of 
military drill. They would not admit him into 
their volunteer corps; nor would they take him as 
a boy scout. A great many of the British clubs 
would have nothing to do with him. The only 
British club of note, which has a fairly good num- 
ber of Indians on its rolls and which accords them 
a welcome, is the National Liberal Club. This club 
is a noble exception. 

Now the British must be an extremely unimag- 
inative people, if they think that all this does not 
make the Indian feel the inferiority of his position. 
The latter, naturally, ascribes all this to the fact 
of his country's having no national government of 
her own to protect him and to advance his interests. 
All this reminds him most forcibly of the fact that 


he belongs to a subject race, that his country does 
not count in the world because she is not free and 
has no embassies, that she has no flag of her own, 
nor consular representatives to back her sons, and 
that in the great mass of civilised humanity he is 
a mere cypher. All this naturally tells on his 
nerves and he becomes an extremist. He feels that 
anything would be preferable to this life of shame 
and dishonor. 

It is difficult for people who have never been 
placed in a similar position to realise the sense of 
humiliation and shame involved in this condition 
of things. Let the British for a moment imagine 
themselves under similar circumstances, and they 
may then be in a position to appreciate the point of 
view of an Indian nationalist. Let us suppose for 
a moment that the Germans conquer England and 
impose their rule on the British race. How would 
the British like their country being administered by 
a viceroy of the Kaiser selected by the German 
Chancellor, with the help of a council consisting 
of Germans and of a bureaucracy recruited almost 
exclusively from Prussia, with only a sprinkling of 
native Britishers? No one can question the effi- 
ciency of the German system. The strong hand of 
Germany might keep Ireland in peace and prevent 
the suffragists and the socialists and the Roman 
Catholics disturbing public tranquillity. They 
might even employ a whole army of Britishers in 
the subordinate posts, might pay them handsomely 
for military and police duty, might confer decora- 
tions and titles on them, might build even greater 


engineering works for them than they had ever 
done, and might let them retain their language for 
elementary education or for religious or domestic 
purposes. Would the English be satisfied and 
would they be contented? Would they consider 
German rule to be a blessing and judge it by trade 
returns ? Never ! 13a Why then, should they ques- 
tion the patriotism or good sense of the Indians 
who want self-government for India? Did not 
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman say that good 
government could never be a substitute for self- 
go.vernment ? 

The fact is, that it is impossible for a free-born 
citizen of a free country to put himself in the posi- 
tion of a political subject and realise fully and 
properly the sense of humiliation and shame in- 
volved therein. The feeling is unknown to him, 
and he has not sufficient imagination to place him- 
self in that position. Why cannot a Britisher see 
that every Indian, visiting foreign countries, has to 
hang his head in shame? 

British statesmen, politicians, publicists and jour- 
nalists all talk of the blessings of British rule in 
India, of what the British have done there in estab- 
lishing peace and order, in making railways and 
canals, in imparting education, in stimulating trade, 
in administering impartial justice, in fostering in- 

13a In this connection we may refer the reader to an excellent 
article published in the New Statesman (London) dated April 
I, 1916, called, " If the Germans conquered England." With the 
alteration of England for Germany and India for England the 
article would make an excellent exposition of the position of 
the Indian Nationalist. 


dustries, in organising the postal and the telegraph 
systems, and in opening the country to the world. 
They cannot see why the Indian should wish to get 
rid of the British. The British have done so much 
for him, have brought civilisation to his door, have 
raised him from " obscurity," have given him their 
language and their institutions, have opened to him 
the gates of knowledge, have provided for him 
security from both domestic and foreign dangers, 
and have put him on the road to ever-increasing 
prosperity and " happiness." Let us assume for 
the moment that all this is wholly true, but can it 
compensate for the loss of manhood which is in- 
volved in political bondage? Chains are chains, no 
matter if gilded. Can the wealth of the whole 
world be put in the scales over against liberty and 
honour? What would it avail if one were to get 
the sovereignty of the world but lose his own soul? 
A subject people has no soul, just as a slave can 
have none. Subjects and slaves are not even the 
masters of their bodies. 

An Indian leader, a high-class Bengali lawyer, 
who is now one of His Majesty's judges in the 
High Court of Calcutta, once said, while presiding 
over a conference in Bengal before he became a 
judge, that a subject people could have no politics. 
A people who have no politics have no soul. A 
man without a soul is a mere animal. A nation 
without a soul is only a herd of " dumb driven cat- 
tle," and such are the Indians of the present day. 
It is a base calumny, and a mean falsehood to say 
in reply, that they have been so from time imme- 


morial, that they have never been free, that they 
have never cared who ruled over them, that they 
have never been patriotic, or that patriotism and a 
feeling of nationality are new growths due to con- 
tact with the West, and that the Indian people do 
not sympathise with the aspirations of the nation- 
alists. Of course, there are some people in India, 
as elsewhere, who, through rolling in wealth, living 
in purple, inheriting long pedigrees, carrying high 
titles, bearing proud names, seem to be happy and 
contented under the existing conditions. For them, 
the security from molestation they have, the free- 
dom of enjoyment they possess, the comforts and 
luxuries which they command, the pleasure which is 
born of inactive, lazy, parasitic, debauched lives, is 
all in all. Any change may bring all this edifice 
down; it may spell ruin to them and their children. 
The immunity from work, which they at present en- 
joy, may all disappear by a change of political con- 
ditions. The British Government has guaranteed 
them not only their possessions, but also their right 
to live and thrive on the ignorance, the supersti- 
tions, and the mental and moral slavery of their 
followers and subjects. 

Such are some of the Nabobs and Maharajas of 
India. Many of them might have to cut stones and 
make roads to earn their living, if they were not 
protected by British bayonets. Their harems con- 
sisting of numerous innocent women doomed to 
life-long imprisonment, to lives of barrenness and 
shame and emptiness, their big cellars full of the 
choicest and the oldest of whiskies, brandies, and 


champagnes, their stables full of the swiftest and 
the noblest of race horses, their drawing rooms 
decorated with gold, silver, silk and velvet, all that 
money can buy and art can embellish, their dining 
tables laden with all inviting dishes and delicacies 
which the best paid cuisine in the world can pro- 
duce, their ability to travel in special trains and 
gorgeous saloons, and to command a new woman 
and a new wine every day of the year, and to move 
in the most fashionable circles, — all depend on the 
continuance of the existing conditions. For them, 
this is life. They do not know what honour is. 
For them, struggle, strife, duty, political change, 
mean a dislocation of everything dear to them. It 
would be practical death to them. Yes, it may be 
true that such people do not care for political lib- 
erty, for freedom, for independence, for patriotism. 
For them, their present life is bliss and they do not 
want to be molested either by the politician or by 
the patriot. 

But their number is not large. Some of the rul- 
ing chiefs may not speak out, but in their heart of 
hearts many of them feel the humiliation of the 
situation. A Maharana of Udeypore may not be 
in a position to assert his independence and take the 
chance of losing his State, but even he may not con- 
sent to walk behind a Curzon in a coronation pro- 
cession in honour of the King of England and the 
foreign Emperor of India. A Gaekwar of Baroda 
may be powerless as against the British army and 
British navy, but even he, in a moment of exalted 
self-respect, may forget to make an abject obeisance 


to the King of England. Such men and even many 
of less worth and nobility, cannot put up with a 
Lord Curzon. It is good for their sense of self- 
respect and also for the country at large to have a 
Curzon for a viceroy. It reminds them, as nothing 
else perhaps would, of their degradation and fall. 

It is very interesting to observe how the Indian 
Chiefs writhe and fret and foam when a Curzon 
threatens their privileges, tries to limit their free- 
dom, and otherwise trespasses upon their rights. 
It is then that a wave of shame sweeps over them 
and touches some lingering sense of self-respect and 
pride in their hearts. But the infamous, lazy, de- 
bauched lives which some of them have led make 
it impossible for them to maintain this indignation 
long enough for it to goad them to any sustained 
effort to throw away their thraldom and assert 
their manhood. The injecting of an electric cur- 
rent may temporarily revive a dead body, may pro- 
duce some kind of activity even in a parasite, but 
it cannot put life into it. 

But after all, as compared with the number of 
people who are alive to the sense of self-respect and 
honour, the parasitical crowned heads or priests or 
noblemen (Nabobs, Rajas, and Maharajas) are 
only a few. They are a mere drop in the ocean, 
though they possess the means of keeping them- 
selves in the public eye and of having their trum- 
pets blown and praises sung by the press and from 
the platform both in India and in England. The 
British too are interested in keeping them at the 
front, in parading their loyalty and devotion to the 


empire, and in magnifying their importance and 

There are few among the nobility of India who 
command any real respect either from the educated 
section of their countrymen in general, or even 
from their own subjects and dependents. Of 
course there are noble exceptions to this statement. 
And yet it is true that a large number of ruling 
chiefs are mere figureheads in their states. Their 
policy is either dictated or guided or controlled by 
the British Resident or the British Political Agent 
through his creatures or through persons, who, 
though not quite his creatures, are afraid of his 
displeasure. In some states, the Resident inter- 
feres in almost everything, and all the details of 
administration pass through his fingers either di- 
rectly or indirectly. In others, the Resident 
watches the administration from a distance and lays 
down the broad outlines of policy. There are few 
native states, their number may be counted on one's 
fingers, where the ruling chief has a will or capacity 
to really assert himself, to stand on his dignity, and 
to maintain his independence. Even the most en- 
lightened and the most independent Prince is com- 
pelled to consult the wishes of the Resident and the 
wishes of the Government of India as expressed by 

Loyalty of Ruling Chiefs. It would be quite 
wrong to conclude, as some people do, that all 
the ruling chiefs are sincerely loyal to the British 
supremacy, or that their acts displaying loyalty 
are free and independent expressions of their minds 


or their will. 14 Some of them are devoid of 
any real sense of honour, or are lost to it by habit- 
ual submission or habitual debauchery. They are 
quite contented to be left alone to enjoy. There 
are others, however, who would be only too 
glad to throw away the British yoke, if they could 
only see a way of successfully doing so. They are 
not prepared to take their chances. It should be 
distinctly understood, therefore, that the National- 
ist Party does not count upon their help or sympa- 
thy. A good many perhaps sympathise with the 
party of violence, and chuckle at their successes, but 
none of them dare do anything to help them in any 
shape. A few openly sympathise with the " con- 
stitutional " party, but even they cannot and would 
not give them any monetary or other kind of help 
as it might easily be construed into an act of un- 
friendliness towards the Paramount Power, and 
might mar their relations with that. 

The smaller fry, the wealthy banker, the great 
landlord, the Bengal Zemindar, and the Oudh 
Talukdar, are almost completely in the hands of 
the British officials. The sympathy of the British 
officials benefits them materially. Their antipathy 
or dislike or aversion would ruin them financially. 
The British collector or magistrate holds complete 
sway over their souls. They would rather go out 
of their way to propitiate him and win his pleasure, 
than risk the slightest suspicion of an independent 
attitude, or of any conduct which even by stretch 
of imagination could be construed into independ- 

14 See New India by Sir Henry Cotton, 1907, p. 34. 


ence. Yet there are some, in Bengal at least, who 
do sympathise with, and give active help to, the 
Revolutionary Party. There are others who sym- 
pathise with, and give occasional monetary assist- 
ance to, the Constitutional Party. The latter class 
does not count for much in Indian politics, and any- 
thing said or done by them cannot be said to repre- 
sent the attitude of any very large section of the 
Indian community. 

Men of wealth and men of means have nowhere 
led the revolutionary or the political movements in 
the history of freedom in this world of ours. 
Their interests as a class are opposed to change. 
Sometimes there does arise from among their ranks 
a man of courage, a man endowed with an adven- 
turous nature or fired by ambition, who leads the 
movement for change, in the hope of either estab- 
lishing a dynasty, or otherwise leaving a name in 
history; and sometimes one comes across a wealthy 
man who, out of regard for principle, and from 
conviction, is a patriot, and joins the patriotic party 
deliberately, and risks his possessions and position; 
but such instances are always few and far between 
in all countries. 

Middle Class Desires Political Freedom. The de- 
sire for political independence, the sense of shame 
and humiliation born of being a subject race, of 
being a political pariah, must from the nature 
of things be confined largely to the educated 
middle class. Even the masses could not be ex- 
pected to take a very deep interest in the movement 
for political independence. Their ignorance, their 


illiteracy, but most of all the hard struggle they 
have to carry on for barest existence, prevents them 
from devoting time or thought to the question. 
Their time and thought are given to the fight against 
hunger and want, against disease and distress, 
against misery and wretchedness. They are easy 
to please. A slight act of kindness or of charity 
or of consideration makes them happy. They are 
easily confused on fundamental issues. This is 
true even in Europe and America, where the com- 
mon people have received the benefits of school edu- 
cation, and where they have had a training in 
democratic thought for a century or more. The 
masses are easily led astray by governments or by 
classes in league with governments. In every 
country it is the educated middle class that leads the 
movement for political independence or for politi- 
cal progress. It is the strength of their convic- 
tions, their earnestness, their capacity to suffer for 
their convictions, their willingness to sacrifice them- 
selves for principles and for truth, coupled with the 
extent and amount of their influence over the 
masses, which determines the fate of the movement 
for liberty. 

A movement of that nature never dies. " The 
battle of freedom once begun is carried on from fa- 
ther to son," is as good to-day as it ever was. Yet 
the movement may be delayed, or its issue may be 
confused, or the contrary, according to the wisdom 
or the folly of its advocates, or the amount of earn- 
estness they put in it, or the amount of influence they 
have over the masses, as well as by the wisdom or 


shortsightedness or cunning of those who oppose it. 
All the world over, progressive political movements 
have had vicissitudes of fortune, stages of develop- 
ment, times of reactions, defeats and reverses. 
Governments always begin by ignoring such move- 
ments. Then comes a period of ridicule, followed 
by repression. But their efforts are futile. The 
food on which the tender plant of liberty thrives is 
the blood of the martyr. The rope of the hang- 
man, the axe of the executioner, or the shot of the 
gunner, extinguishes individual life, only to make 
the desire for corporate life keener and stronger. 
Banishments, deportations, imprisonments, tortures 
and confiscations, are the usual weapons of the 
tyrant to strangle liberty, to extirpate those that are 
after it, but they have so far proved ineffectual to 
kill it. Conciliation is sometimes more successful 
than repression, but conciliation delayed or conces- 
sions forced have been proved to be worse than use- 
less. The Nationalist Movement in India has 
passed through some of these stages, and is passing 
through the rest. We presume it will be of some 
interest and use to trace its development, and to 
make a retrospective review of its successes and 
failures so far. 15 

15 It should be noted that the evils complained of in this 
chapter are the evils of the system which, in the words of John 
Stuart Mill, is unnatural, and the unnaturalness of which is 
recognised in full by many fair-minded Britishers. It was 
recognised so far back as 18,35 by the British historian Wilson 
in his concluding remarks in the last chapter of Hj* t nonumen- 
tal History of British India. 


INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D. 

Aurangzeb, the 6th Mogul Emperor of India, 
died in 1707 a. d. Within fifty years of his death, 
the Mogul sovereignty in India was reduced to its 
last gasp. The seeds sown by his bigotry, fanati- 
cism, and suspicious nature were ripening and 
bringing to his successors a harvest of dissensions 
and discords, of rebellions and revolts. In the 
North as well as the South, forces had been gen- 
erated which threatened the end of the Mogul rule. 
The martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur, the Sikh 
Guru, who was foully murdered at Delhi, where he 
had gone on a mission of peace, had sunk deep into 
the hearts of his followers, and his son, Guru 
Govind Singh, was organising forces which were 
destined to supplant Mogul rule in the Land of the 
Five Rivers. 1 In the Deccan, Sivaji's 2 standard 
and throne had become the rallying point of the 
fighting forces of Southern India. 

By 1757 a. d., the Sikhs in the Punjab and the 
Mahrattas in the Deccan had succeeded in under- 
mining the foundations of the Mogul rule, which 
was now steadily disintegrating. The Nizam of 
Hyderabad, and the Nawab of Mysore had asserted 

1 The Punjab. 

2 Sivaji was the founder of the Mahratta Empire in India. 



their independence and were disputing the mastery 
of the Deccan with the Mahrattas. Similarly the 
Nabobs of Bengal and Oudh owed only nominal 
allegiance to the King of Delhi. The greater part 
of the peninsula, Central India, was under the 

Conflict of French and English in India. The 
political fate of India was hanging in the bal- 
ance, when a power arose to take advantage of 
the disturbed conditions of things. The French 
and the English both entered the arena, taking dif- 
ferent sides, and began to shuffle their cards. They 
sold their help to the highest bidder, and at the 
conclusion of every game, or even in the midst of 
it, changed partners as often as they could in the 
interest of their respective masters. The first mili- 
tary achievement of note, which gave decisive ad- 
vantage to the British, was at the battle of Plassey 
in 1757. That practically gave them the key to 
the sovereignty of India. From 1757 to 1857 was 
the century of struggle, both military and diplo- 
matic. The one end kept in view was the making 
of the Empire and the amassing of wealth. 

How British Rule in India was Established. 
Hindus were played against the Mohammedans, 
and vice versa, states and principalities against 
states and principalities, Jats against Rajputs, and 
Rajputs against Jats, Mahrattas against both, Ro- 
hillas against Bundelas, and Bundelas against 
Pathans, and so on. Treaties were made and 
broken without the least scruple, sides were taken 
and changed and again changed without the least 

INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D. 97 

consideration of honour or faith. Thrones were 
purchased and sold to the highest bidder. Military 
support was purchased and given like merchandise. 
Servants were induced to betray their masters, sol- 
diers to desert flags, without any regard to the 
morality of the steps taken. Pretences were in- 
vented and occasions sought for involving states 
and principalities in wars and trouble. Laws of 
all kinds, national and international, moral and re- 
ligious, were all for the time thrown into the dis- 
card. Neither minors nor widows received any 
consideration; the young and the old were treated 
alike. The one object in view was to loot, to 
plunder, and to make an empire. Everything was 
subordinated to that end. One has only to read 
Mill and Wilson's "History of British India," 
Burke's " Impeachment of Warren Hastings," Tor- 
rens' " Our Empire in Asia," Wilson's " Sword and 
Ledger," Bell's "Annexation of the Punjab" to 
find out that the above is a bare and moderate state- 
ment of truth. 

Methods of Consolidation of British India. Poli- 
cies (fiscal, industrial, religious, educational) were 
all discussed and formulated from one point of 
view, viz., the establishing of British authority, the 
consolidation of British rule, and pecuniary gain 
to the East India Company. If one were to pile 
up " scraps of paper " which the British destroyed 
or disregarded in the making of their Indian em- 
pire, one could fill a decent sized box therewith. 
The administrations of Wellesley and Dalhousie 
alone would furnish sufficient material for the pur- 


pose. We do not know of anything in Indian his- 
tory which could be compared with the deeds of 
this century. It was a century of consistent, pro- 
longed, and deliberate spoliation, subtle and scien- 
tific sometimes, in the pursuance of which all laws 
of morality, humanity, and fairness were tossed 
aside, and the object in view was persistently and 
doggedly kept in view and achieved. It was not 
the doing of this man or that man, but, with some 
noble exceptions, of the whole body of Administra- 
tors sent by the East India Company to manage 
their affairs in the East. The policies and doings 
of the various rulers that were sent from England 
to administer the affairs of India differed in degree 

British Public Ignorant of Facts. It is true that 
the British people as a whole had no notion 
of what was going on in India. They were as ig- 
norant of it, then, as they are to-day of the 
doings of their countrymen in that vast " conti- 
nent." It sufficed for them to know that their 
countrymen were carving an empire there, conquer- 
ing provinces and bringing millions of alien people 
under British rule; as it suffices for them to know 
to-day that they have an empire in India. India 
brought them wealth and material prosperity. In- 
dividuals became fabulously rich and their wealth 
filtered downward and filled the whole British 
nation. The nation became rich by the dividends 
of the East India Company, and by the enormous 
profits which British manufacturers and British 
traders made by the fact of British supremacy in 

INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D. 99 

India. That was enough for the nation. Even 
when their moral sense was at times shocked by 
certain disclosures, which by chance found their 
way into the press or into the literature of the coun- 
try, it was soon calmed and set at rest by the 
speeches made by the statesmen at the helm of af- 
fairs, who explained them away, excused their 
authors on political grounds, and laid down in high, 
grandiloquent terms that the general aim of British 
rule in India was beneficent, and that this aim was 
steadily being pursued. The impeachment of War- 
ren Hastings by Burke should have opened the eyes 
of the British public as to what was happening in 
India; but the eventual acquittal of that famous 
pro-consul set matters at rest. And Warren Has- 
tings was by no means the worst offender. What 
happened then is happening every day in India, only 
in a different way and on a different scale. 

Yet I am not disposed to criticise the British pub- 
lic. Democracies have no time for the critical 
examination of the affairs of other countries and 
other people. They have their own trouble, enough 
and to spare. They look to material benefits, and 
their imagination is fired and their mind is thrilled 
by the fact of so many millions being under their 
rule. In the case of the British, both combined 
make them proud of their countrymen, who rule 
and administer India in their name. They have no 
reason to be critical. Human nature is human 
nature after all. Ordinary human nature is not 
inclined to be critical at gains, especially when it 
does not directly feel the iniquity of the methods 


by which those gains are made. But this is only 
by the way. 

To continue the thread of my narrative: the his- 
tory of British " conquest " of India from 1757 to 
1857 a. d. is a continuous record of political charla- 
tanry, political faithlessness, and political immoral- 
ity. It was a triumph of British " diplomacy." 
The British founders of the Indian empire had the 
true imperial instincts of empire-builders. They 
cared little for the means which they employed. 
Moral theorists cannot make empires. Empires 
can only be built by unscrupulous men of genius, 
men of daring and dash, making the best of oppor- 
tunities that come to their hands, caring little for 
the wrongs which they thereby inflict on others, or 
the dishonesties or treacheries or breaches of faith 
involved therein. Empires can only be conceived 
by Napoleons, Bismarcks, Disraelis, Richelieus, and 
Machiavellis. They can only be built by Gives, 
Hastings, Wellesleys, and Dalhousies. Burkes and 
Gladstones cannot do that work, nor can Morleys, 
though they may connive at others doing it, and 
might accept it as fait accompli. 

Conquest of India Diplomatic, not Military. The 
British conquest of India was not a military 
conquest in any sense of the term. They could not 
conquer India except by playing on the fears of 
some and the hopes of others, and by seeking and 
getting the help of Indians, both moral and mate- 
rial. The record is as black as it could be; but 
nothing succeeds like success, and all that is largely 
a forgotten page so far as the present generation 

INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D. 101 

of Indians is concerned. Only one feels disposed 
to smile when one hears of Indian nationalists being 
charged in British-Indian courts with attempting to 
subvert " the government established by law." 
One is inclined to ask " By what law? " and " Who 
made that law ? " 

The Great Indian Mutiny of 1857. We have, 
however, referred to this story in these few words 
only to introduce the great Indian mutiny of 1857, 
as the first Indian political movement of the nine- 
teenth century. The movement was national as 
well as political. The underlying causes and the 
contributory forces were many. The union of the 
Hindus and Mohammedans, the thoroughness of 
the organisation which preceded the mutiny, the 
stubbornness with which the mutineers fought, and 
the comparatively few treacheries that characterised 
the mutinous campaign, all point to the same con- 

The mutiny, however, failed because the people 
on the whole had no faith in the constructive ca- 
pacity of the mutineers. The mutineers had no 
doubt agreed to postpone the question of the con- 
structive ends in view, until after they had turned 
out the British, but the people could not. The peo- 
ple's patience had been exhausted by the military 
activities of the preceding century and the accom- 
panying disorder and anarchy, and they saw before 
them the possibility of a recurrence of the same in 
the case of success attending the arms of the muti- 
neers. They hated the British; the Indian nobility 
and aristocracy, as well as the Indian people, hated 


them. They sympathised with the mutineers; but 
they helped them only half-heartedly. They had no 
faith in them. The ruling families of India, the 
aristocracy and the nobility, were perhaps more 
dreaded and hated by the people than were the Brit- 
ish. There was no one to rally them to one 

How the Mutiny was Put Down. Here again 
it was British " diplomacy " that saved the British 
situation. The British rallied to their support the 
newly born aristocracy of the Punjab, — the Sikhs. 
The Sikhs had been persecuted and oppressed by the 
Mohammedans. They were not in a mood to look 
favourably at the chance of Mohammedan suprem- 
acy being re-established in India. They had had 
enough of the " Turk," as they called every Mo- 
hammedan; and they threw the whole weight of 
their recently gathered virility on the side of the 
British. They were told and they believed, that in 
crushing the Mohammedan power, they were re- 
venging themselves on the slayers of Guru Teg 
Bahadur, the oppressors of Guru Govind Singh, and 
the murderers of his sons. It was the thought of 
Sirhind and the incidents associated with the name 
of that cursed place, 3 that goaded them to the de- 
struction of the last chance of Mohammedan su- 
premacy in India. 

The mutiny failed, but its course showed with 
what intensity the mutineers hated the British. The 

3 Sirhind is a small town on the road to Delhi, where the 
Muslim governor of the time tortured the two minor sons of 
Guru Govind Singh to death by placing them between two brick 

INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D. 103 

Indians are a very kind-hearted people; they would 
not injure even an ant, much less a human being, if 
they could help it, but some of them were guilty of 
the most cruel excesses during the mutiny. The 
British, too, in their turn did not spare the Indians 
in any way either during the mutiny or after it. 
Innocent and guilty alike were placed before the 
cannon and shot in lots. 4 In their marches through 
the country, British soldiers tortured men, women, 
and children, 5 and sometimes hung their heads or 

4 See Kaye and Malleson, vol. II, p. 367. " In respect to 
the mutineers of the 55th, they were taken fighting against us, 
and so far deserve little mercy. But, on full reflection, I would 
not put them all to death. I do not think that we should be 
justified in the eyes of the Almighty in doing so. A hundred 
and twenty men are a large number to put to death. Our ob- 
ject is to make an example to terrify others. I think this 
object would be effectually gained by destroying from a quarter 
to a third of them. I would select all of those against whom 
anything bad can be shown — such as general bad character, 
turbulence, prominence in disaffection or in the fight, disre- 
spectful demeanor to their officers during the few days before 
the 26th, and the like. If these did not make up the required 
number, I would then add to them the oldest soldiers. All 
these should be shot or blown away from the guns, as may be 
most expedient. The rest I would divide into patches : some to 
be imprisoned ten years, some seven, some five, some three." 

5 History of Indian Mutiny, Kaye and Malleson, vol. II, p. 203. 
" Martial law had been proclaimed ; those terrible Acts passed 
by the Legislative Council in May and June were in full opera- 
tion; and soldiers and civilians alike were holding Bloody As- 
size, or slaying natives without any Assize at all, regardless 
of sex or age. Afterwards the thirst for blood grew stronger 
still. It is on the records of our British Parliament, in papers 
sent home by the Governor General of India in Council, that 
the aged, women, and children, are sacrificed, as well as those 
guilty of rebellion. They were not deliberately hanged, but 
burnt to death in their villages — perhaps now and then ac- 
cidently shot. Englishmen did not hesitate to boast, or to 
record their boastings in writings, that they had ' spared no 
one,' and that ' peppering away at niggers ' was very pleasant 
pastime, ' enjoyed amazingly.' It has been stated in a book 


carcasses on the trees. 6 Both sides vied with each 
other in their cruelties. 

The victors have immortalised the reprisals (or 
say, the iniquities) of the vanquished by building 

patronised by high class authorities, that ' for three months 
eight dead-carts daily went their rounds from sunrise to sunset 
to take down the corpses which hung at the cross-roads and 
market-places,' and that ' six thousand beings ' had been thus 
summarily disposed of and launched into eternity." 

6 See Kaye and Malleson's History of the Mutiny, vol. II, p. 
177. "Already our military officers were hunting down the 
criminals of all kinds, and hanging them up with as little com- 
punction as though they had been pariah-dogs, or jackals, or 
vermin of a baser kind. One contemporary writer has re- 
corded that, on the morning of disarming parade, the first 
thing he saw from the Mint was a ' row of gallowses.' A few 
days afterwards the military courts or commissions were sit- 
ting daily, and sentencing old and young to be hanged with in- 
discriminate ferocity. On one occasion, some young boys, who, 
seemingly in mere sport, had flaunted rebel colours and gone 
about beating tom-toms, were tried and sentenced to death. 
One of the officers composing the court, a man unsparing be- 
fore an enemy under arms, but compassionate, as all brave 
men are, towards the weak and the helpless, went with tears in 
his eyes to the commanding officer, imploring him to remit the 
sentence passed against these juvenile offenders, but with little 
effect on the side of mercy. And what was done with some 
show of formality either of military or of criminal law, was as 
nothing, I fear, weighed against what was done without any 
formality at all. Volunteer hanging parties went out into the 
districts, and amateur executioners were not wanting to the 
occasion. One gentleman boasted of the numbers he had fin- 
ished off quite ' in an artistic manner,' with mango-trees for 
gibbets and elephants for drops, the victims of this wild justice 
being strung up, as though for pastime, in ' the form of a figure 
of eight.' " 

On mock trials see Holmes' History of the Sepoy War, p. 
124. " Officers, as they went to sit on the court martial, swore 
that they would hang their prisoners, guilty or innocent. . . . 
Prisoners condemned to death after a hasty trial were mocked 
at and tortured by ignorant privates before their execution, 
while educated officers looked on and approved." " Old men 
who had done us no harm, and helpless women with sucking 
infants at their breasts felt the weight of our vengeance, no 
less than the vilest malefactors." 

INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D. 105 

permanent memorials on the spots where they were 
perpetrated; their own, they have forgotten, and so 
have perhaps the descendants of those who were the 
objects thereof, though they are recorded in history. 

Again see History of the Siege of Delhi quoted by Savarkar 
in his " War of Indian Independence," p. ill, by an officer who 
served there, how, on the way from Umbala to Delhi, thou- 
sands were placed before a court martial in rows after rows 
and condemned to be hanged or shot. In some places cow's 
flesh was forced by spears and bayonets into the mouths of 
the condemned. (All Hindus abhor cow's flesh and would 
rather die than eat it.) 

See Charles Ball's Indian Mutiny, vol. I, p. 257. " One trip 
I enjoyed amazingly; we got on board a steamer with a gun, 
while the Sikhs and the fusiliers marched up to the city. We 
steamed up throwing shots right and left till we got up to the 
bad places, when we went on the shore and peppered away with 
our guns, my old double-barrel bringing down several niggers. 
So thirsty for vengeance I was. We fired the places right and 
left and the flames shot up to the heavens as they spread, 
fanned by the breeze, showing that the day of vengeance had 
fallen on the treacherous villains. Every day we had expedi- 
tions to burn and destroy disaffected villages and we had 
taken our revenge. I have been appointed the chief of a com- 
mission for the trial of all natives charged with offences 
against the Government and persons. Day by day, we have 
strung up eight or ten men. We have the power of life in 
our hands and, I assure you, we spare not. A very summary 
trial is all that takes place. The condemned culprit is placed 
under a tree, with a rope around his neck, on the top of a 
carriage, and when it is pulled off he swings." 

" In the Punjab, near Ajnala, in a small island, many a Sepoy 
who had simply fled away from a regiment which was work- 
ing under the reasonable fear of being disarmed and shot by 
the Government for suspicion, was hiding himself. Cooper 
with a loyal body of troops took them prisoner. The entire 
number, amounting to two hundred and eighty-two, were then 
conveyed by Cooper to Ajnala. Then came the question what 
was to be done with them. There was no means of trans- 
porting them to a place where they could be tried formally. 
On the other hand, if they were summarily executed, other 
regiments and intending rebels might take warning by their 
fate, and thus, further bloodshed might be prevented. For 
these reasons, Cooper, fully conscious as he was of the enor- 
mous responsibility which he was undertaking, resolved to put 


The impression which a visit to these memorials 
leaves on the mind of an English visitor can be 
better realised by the following extract from an ac- 
count published in The Outlook (the English jour- 
nal) on the 3rd of April, 191 5, over the signature 
of one F. G. A. Speaking of the mutiny memories 
and monuments of Lucknow and Cawnpore, the 
writer remarks : 

" Their mutiny memories are quite distinct, as are 
the impressions they leave on the pilgrim to these 
shrines of heroism and devilry. The battered ruins 
of Lucknow, testifying to a heroism so splendid as 
to rob even death of its sting, bring an inspiration 
that is almost joyous. Every crumbling gateway 
and every gloomy cellar has its tale of heroic endur- 

them all to death. Next morning, accordingly, he brought 
them out in tens and made some Sikhs shoot them. In this 
way, two hundred and sixteen perished. But, there still re- 
mained sixty-six others who had been confined in one of the 
bastions of the Tahsil. Expecting resistance, Cooper ordered 
the door to be opened. But not a sound issued from the room ; 
forty-five of them were dead bodies lying on the floor. For, 
unknown to Cooper, the windows had been closely shut and the 
wretched prisoners had found in the bastion a second Black- 
Hole. The remaining twenty-one were shot, like their com- 
rades. 1 — '8 — '57. For this splendid assumption of author- 
ity, Cooper was assailed by the hysterical cries of ignorant 
humanitarians. But Robert Montgomery unanswerably vindi- 
cated his character by proving that he had saved the Lahore 
division." — Holmes's History of the Indian Mutiny, p. 363. 

" It is related that, in the absence of tangible enemies, some 
of our soldiery, who turned out on this occasion, butchered a 
number of unoffending camp-followers, servants, and others 
who were huddling together in vague alarm, near the Christian 
church-yard. No loyalty, no fidelity, no patient good service 
on the part of these good people could extinguish, for a mo- 
ment, the fierce hatred which possessed our white soldiers 
against all who wore the dusky livery of the East." — Kaye 
and Malleson's Indian Mutiny, vol. II, p. 438. 

INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D. 107 

ance and magnificent defence, and the final relief 
of the beleaguered garrison wrote such a finis to the 
story as erased much of its earlier bitterness. . . . 

" None of this forgiveness is conceivable in those 
who visit Cawnpore. Even the sculptured angel 
over the unspeakable Well bears, on one profile at 
any rate, an expression of stern condemnation that 
holds out no promise of pardon. The atmosphere 
of historic Cawnpore is one of haunting horror and 
a sadness that will not pass with the years. Time 
seems powerless to heal this rancour. I care not 
whether the pilgrim wanders through the beautiful 
Memorial Gardens (in which, significantly, no native 
is allowed to enter), feasting his eyes on the blaze 
Bougainvillcca, or resting them in the shade of the 
peepul and the banyan, or whether he lingers in the 
strangely Italian-looking Memorial Church and 
reads the roll of honour that fills a series of mural 
tablets ; everywhere his soul will be filled with gloom 
and will cry for eternal vengeance on the authors of 
the massacre and on those who threw the dying with 
the dead into the awful blackness of the pit. These 
memories hold nothing but hate and horror, without 
one redeeming chapter to leaven them with comfort 
or forgiveness." 7 

The English are mistaken if they think that a 
reading of the history of the mutiny and the excesses 
and cruelties indulged in by the British does not ex- 
cite similar feeling in the minds of the Indians. 

7 It should be noted that this visit took place during the 
present war and the observations recorded above were penned 
after the "unique" outburst of loyalty on the part of the 
Indians in connection with the Great War. 


The British can express their feelings freely. The 
Indians cannot; their feelings must be repressed. 

It would, however, be better for both parties to 
try to wipe off the past in a spirit of mutual trust 
and mutual good will, which is only possible if 
England were to cease to pursue a policy of ex- 
ploiting India and to establish her connection with 
India on a basis of equality, honesty and justice. 
That can only be done by treating her as a partner 
in the Empire and not as a mere " dependency " 
or " possession." 


INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 
PART I — FROM I857 TO 1885 

The mutiny was quelled. The ringleaders among 
the mutineers were killed, hanged or shot, and with 
them a lot of those who were innocent. Many of 
the rank and file were pardoned, as no government 
could shoot or hang all those who had taken part in 
the mutiny. Their number was legion. The Brit- 
ish Empire in India was saved, but the East India 
Company was gone. The system of open pillage 
was ended. The crown assumed the direct govern- 
ment of India. The Queen's Proclamation and the 
policy of " mercy and reconciliation " inaugurated 
by Canning calmed the country. 

The Bengalee Babu. The only parts of the coun- 
try which had received some education on modern 
lines were the provinces of Bengal, Bombay and 
Madras. The number of educated men even in these 
provinces was small. In the work of settlement that 
followed the mutiny, these educated men found 
ample scope for their ambition. Men who knew 
English had the advantage over those who did not. 
Men with a knowledge of English were few. The 
posts requiring a knowledge of that language were 
many. Consequently, the English-knowing Indians 



were in great demand and secured ample salaries to 
make them " happy and loyal." The English-know- 
ing Bengalees spread over the whole of Northern 
India, lately the scene of mutiny, and materially 
helped in bringing about settled conditions of life. 
They were the pioneers in every department of gov- 
ernmental activity and were looked to, both by the 
rulers and the people, for advice and guidance. 
The Bengalee is a sentimental being. His position 
under the Government filled him with pride and his 
gratitude and loyalty were overflowing. The Brit- 
ish also liked him because he was useful, intelligent, 
keen, shrewd, ready to serve, and willing to be of 
use. He relieved the British officer of much of his 
intellectual work, and left him ample time for play 
and rest. Many a departmental head ruled the 
country with the brain of the " Bengalee Babu." 
The Bengalee Babu worshipped the Feringhee x as 
Mai Bap, 2 and began to imitate him in his tastes. 
He began to live as the Britisher lived; English life, 
English manners and customs, became his ideal. 
Gradually he became very fond of English literature 
and began to think as an Englishman thought. The 
Bengalees were the first to send their sons to Eng- 
land for their education and to compete for the 
I. C. S. (Indian Civil Service) and the I. M. S. 
(Indian Medical Service). They with the Parsees 
were the first to qualify for the English bar. In 
England they lived in an atmosphere of freedom. 

1 A native term equivalent for Europeans. 

2 This is a native expression signifying the highest respect 
of the speaker towards one whom he considers his superior. 
Literally it means mother and father. 

Ram Mo max Roy 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 11 1 

With freedom in drinking and eating they also 
learned freedom of thought and expression. 

The first generation of the Bengalees was thus 
Anglicised through and through. They looked 
down upon their own religion ; they thought poorly 
of Indian society. They knew nothing of their own 
past history, and they glorified in being " Sahibs." 3 
Some of them became Christians. Alarmed at this 
transformation, Ram Mohan Roy and a few others 
resolved to stem the tide. For a time they suc- 
ceeded, but only partially. Be it said to the credit of 
the Bengalees that a fairly good number refused to 
be carried down-stream, and in spite of their Eng- 
lish education stuck to their own religion and their 
own customs. They saw a good deal in their society 
which needed reform; but they declined to make 
sweeping changes and would not imitate. These 
veterans laid the foundations of the modern Ben- 
galee literature. They wanted to pour their knowl- 
edge, derived from a study of English language and 
literature, into their own mother tongue, and in 
order to enlarge the vocabulary of the latter for their 
work, they had to study Sanskrit. Thus in spite of 
the Anglification of the first generation of Ben- 
galees, there grew up a class of men imbued with 
nationalistic tendencies. Ram Mohan Roy, the 
founder of Brahmo Samaj, was the first nation- 
builder of Modern India. 

For a time the field that was opened for the em- 
ployment of English-educated Bengalees in Upper 
India (in the then N. W. Provinces, in the Pun- 

3 /. e., like the English. 


jab, in Behar, in Central India, in Rajputana, 
even in Sindh) checked the growth of these tend- 
encies. The feeling of gratitude and contentment 
was supreme. The Bengalee was indispensable in 
almost every department. The reins of practical 
management were mostly in Bengalee hands, 
whether it was a court of justice, or a Revenue Com- 
missioner's office, or a commissariat depot, or an 
adjutant's camp, or the department of land survey, 
or education. The heads of departments were al- 
ways English, but the heads of ministerial establish- 
ments were generally Bengalees. The English could 
not do without them. The former did not know the 
language of the country, nor did they know the 
character of the people. The Bengalees were thus 
an absolute necessity. With the spread of a knowl- 
edge of the English language, the first generation of 
English-knowing Indians in every province came 
to occupy an important position. While the old- 
fashioned Pandit or Moulvie sulked, the English- 
knowing Hindu or Mohammedan basked in sunshine 
and flourished. The British laid down policies and 
gave orders ; the English-knowing Indian saw that 
they were carried out. They thus came to enjoy 
the confidence of their masters and imitated their 

But what was most important was that they began 
to think like their English masters. The English 
read their newspapers ; so the Indians started their 
newspapers. The English met in clubs and 
churches. So the Indians started Samajes and 
Sabhas and debating clubs. For a time the English- 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 113 

knowing Indian prided himself in imitating his 
master. He took his dress, he took his cheroot and 
pipe, and also his cup and beefsteak. He began to 
live in houses built and furnished in the English 
way. He detested Indian life and took pride in 
being Anglicised. Everything Indian was odious 
in his eyes. The Indians were barbarians ; their re- 
ligion was a bundle of superstitions; they were dirty 
people ; their customs and manners were uncivilised ; 
they were a set of narrow-minded bigots who did 
not know that man was born free. So the English 
set the fashion for them in everything. If their 
English masters went to church and read the Bible, 
they did the same. If the English masters indulged 
in free-thinking, they did the same. They wanted 
to be like their English masters in every way. Their 
ambition, however, soon met a check. They could 
equal the British in drinking and in free-thinking, 
but they could not aspire to his position and place in 
the government of the country. Some of them de- 
cided to try this in the case of their sons. They sent 
them to England. A few passed the Indian Civil 
Service and the Indian Medical Service examina- 
tions, others became barristers. Both found out by 
bitter experience that, however able and clever they 
might be, whatever their intellectual acquirements, 
no matter if they were Christians, or semi-Chris- 
tians, or free-thinkers, there was a limit to their 
aspirations both in service and out of it. That was 
the first eye-opener. 

In the meantime, the thoughtful among the In- 
dians, who had not taken to English manners, were 


anxiously watching the flow of the current. They 
saw the disintegrating and denationalising forces 
that were at work ; they saw that their national edi- 
fice was crumbling down brick by brick ; everything 
which they had valued and held sacred was being 
devastated and treated with contempt and reduced to 
ashes. Their own children were deserting the old 
banners to which innumerable generations before 
them had clung with love and reverence. They saw 
all this; they were sorry; they wept tears of blood; 
but they could do nothing. They were powerless 
before the tide. They tried palliatives, but failed. 
What was fatal to their pious wishes was that they 
could not themselves resist the fruits which English 
education brought in the shape of emoluments and 
rank and position. They wanted these fruits with- 
out the thorns. They soon found that that was im- 
possible, and so they gave up the struggle in despair 
and became reconciled to the inevitable. What they 
failed to achieve was, however, brought about by a 
combination of circumstances which we will briefly 
enumerate below. 

Forces Resisting Denationalisation, i. The Eng- 
lish education imparted in schools and colleges estab- 
lished by the British, and the Christian missions (in 
some instances supplemented by Indian agencies), 
opened the gates of Western thought and Western 
literature to the mass of educated Indians. 

2. Some of the British teachers and professors 
who taught in the schools and colleges consciously 
and unconsciously inspired their pupils with ideas of 
freedom as well as nationalism. 


INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 115 

3. The over-zeal of the missionaries in their at- 
tacks upon Indian religions and Indian thought sug- 
gested to Indian minds a closer and deeper study of 
their own religion and thought. 

4. In this they were materially helped by the 
awakening of Europeans to the thought of the East. 
The labours of the European savants and their ap- 
preciation of Eastern thought kindled a fresh fire in 
the bosom of Hindus and Mohammedans. 

5. The writings of Ram Mohan Roy, Debendra 
Nath Tagore, Rajendra Lai Mitra, in Bengal, those 
of Ranade, Vishnu Pandit and others in Mahrash- 
tra, of Swami Dayanand and Sir Syed Ahmad Khan 
in Upper India, of Madam Blavatsky and the other 
Theosophists in Madras, brought about a new awak- 
ening, which afterwards received an even stronger 
impetus from the writings and speeches of Mrs. 
Annie Besant and Swami Vivekananda. This was 
on the religious and social side mainly, but its na- 
tional character was unmistakable. 

Political Disappointments. The current produced 
by these causes met another current, which was gen- 
erated by political disappointments. The aspira- 
tions of the educated Indian had met a check. The 
few successes gained by Indians in the Indian Civil 
Service examinations alarmed the British, and they 
sought for means of keeping them out. One of the 
means adopted was to require that the candidates 
should not be more than 19 to 21 years of age at 
the time of examination, an age so young as made 
it impossible for Indians to come over to England 
and successfully compete. This raised a howl and 


cry in Bengal, and the rest of the country followed 
Bengal. Then came other measures like the Ver- 
nacular Press Act of Lord Lytton, and the remission 
of cotton duties, 4 and so on. The generation edu- 
cated in England had some experience of the meth- 
ods of political agitation in that country, and they 
soon began to organise on those lines. Political 
agitation on modern lines thus became a fact of In- 
dian life, and English-educated Indians began to 
talk of liberty and self-government. 

Thus were laid the foundations of the national 
awakening, of which so much has been heard of late. 
The methods of the English Government in India, 
their educational system, their press, their laws, their 
courts, their railways, their telegraphs, their post- 
offices, their steamers, had as much to do with it as 
the native love of country, of religion and nation, 
which had received a temporary check by the crush- 
ing defeat of the mutineers in 1857, and by the In- 
dian people's too ready acquiescence in the political 
and social domination of the foreigner which en- 

This time, however, the movement was brought 
into existence by those who had received their in- 
spiration from Europe. Within less than twenty 
years after the great mutiny, the Nationalist Move- 
ment of India was born, almost at the same time and 
place at which Lord Lytton was presiding at the 
great Imperial Durbar, and announcing that the 
great Queen of England was assuming the title of 
Empress of India. The Durbar reduced the chiefs 

4 In the interests of Lancashire goods. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 117 

of India from the position of allies to that of feuda- 
tories, but it quite unconsciously and against the in- 
tentions of its authors raised in theory the status of 
the Indian subjects of the Queen to that of citizens 
of the British Empire. Little did the authors of 
that Durbar realise the inner significance of the move 
they were making. That Durbar, we may say, 
marked the beginning of the movement which filled 
the educated Indian with the idea of obtaining his 
rightful place in the Empire. He became articulate 
and began to assert himself. He was no longer sat- 
isfied with the minor positions which he held in the 
Government of India. He claimed his country as 
his own, and raised the cry of " India for the In- 
dians." His cry gained strength when he found that 
the India which he looked down upon in the fifties 
or sixties, the system of thought and life which he 
considered barbarous, primitive and old fashioned, 
and the past which he despised, were after all not so 
bad as he had thought. 

The latter was the contribution of the Brahmo 
Samaj, the Theosophical Society, the Society for the 
Resuscitation of Sanskrit Literature, the Bengal 
Sahitya Parishad, the Maharastra Sabha, the Arya 
Samaj, the Sanatan Sabhas and other societies of a 
similar nature. The Bengali and the Mahratta writ- 
ers, who had carried on researches in Indian history 
and unearthed valuable documents and written in 
their respective vernaculars, contributed materially 
to the growth of this feeling. The Theosophical So- 
ciety began to praise and justify every Hindu insti- 
tution and to find science in every custom. In fact, 


for a time, the thoughtful began to fear lest the 
pendulum was swinging the other way and we were 
in the midst of a wave of reaction. 

Lord Ripon. India was in this state of fermenta- 
tion, religious, social and political, when Lord Ripon 
was appointed to the viceroyalty of India. Lord 
Ripon was an exceedingly kind man and commanded 
a broad outlook. He was very lucky in having come 
on the heels of an exceedingly unpopular Viceroy 
like Lord Lytton. Lord Lytton was a Tory of pro- 
nounced imperial tendencies. Under the inspiration 
of Disraeli, he had by an unworthy trick on the rul- 
ing chiefs of India changed their position from that 
of allies to that of feudatories; he had gagged the 
vernacular press by his press legislation; he had 
blundered into a bloody Afghan war and was re- 
sponsible for several other reactionary measures. 
Lord Ripon started by undoing most of what Lord 
Lytton had done. He repealed the Vernacular Press 
Act, which at once set the seal of popular approval 
on his administration. The most important of his 
achievements were, however, constructive. He for- 
mulated a policy of local government, and thus laid 
the foundations of representative institutions in 
India; he substituted merit for patronage and job- 
bery in filling public services, by organising com- 
petitive examinations for filling a certain number of 
posts in the higher branches of the subordinate serv- 
ices; last but not least, he resolved to so alter the 
criminal law as to place the European and the In- 
dian on an equal footing in the matter of trials. 

All this aroused the bitterest anger of the Anglo- 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 119 

Indian officialdom. The Anglo-Indians opposed 
every one of these measures. They ridiculed the 
idea of introducing any measure of local self-govern- 
ment in India, and predicted that that must be the 
beginning of the end. They called the measure rash 
and ill-advised and impracticable. The natives were 
incapable of self-government, they said. Their re- 
ligious and social differences made it impossible. 
Officialdom was equally opposed to the filling of any 
posts in government service by open competition. 
This would bring in the " Babu," and the " Babu " 
they had now begun to hate and look down upon. 
The " Babu " was a " low-caste hybrid," who wrote 
bad English and talked of liberty and equality, who 
lacked in qualities of docility and submissiveness, 
which had so far characterised persons appointed by 
selection. This interfered materially with the pres- 
tige of the Lord of the District, as people could now 
get " high " appointments under the Government in- 
dependently of him. Why should the people re- 
spect him any more? His was a government by 
prestige, and measures like these of Lord Ripon 
would destroy it. So prophesied the heaven-born 
" white Brahmins." But the worst offence of Lord 
Ripon was the " Ilbert Bill," 5 which aimed at plac- 
ing the European and the Indian on an equal foot- 
ing in the eyes of the law, and would remove the 
disabilities of the Indian Magistrate in the matter 
of the trial of the white men. " Shall we be judged 
by the Nigger? " " shall he send us to jail? " " shall 

5 Mr. Ilbert was the Law member of the Council of the 
Governor General and the bill came to be named after him. 


he be put in authority over us ? Never ! It is im- 
possible! Better that British rule in India should 
end than that we be obliged to submit to such hu- 
miliating laws." The whole tribe of the Anglo- 
Indians (official and non-official) opposed the meas- 
ure most vehemently, and attacked Lord Ripon as 
never viceroy was attacked before by his own coun- 
trymen in India. They called him insulting names, 
passed resolutions condemning his administration 
wholesale, proposed his recall before the expiration 
of his period of office, and did everything possible 
to make him feel that they hated him. 

His unpopularity among the Anglo-Indians made 
him popular among the Indians. The press and the 
platform sang his praise. The country was ablaze 
with excitement. Never before under British rule 
had the country been so enthusiastic in political mat- 
ters. In Lord Ripon, they thought, they had found 
a political Messiah. They gave him addresses, un- 
harnessed the horses from his carriage, in many 
places, and otherwise showed their love and regard 
for him, which exasperated the European community 
beyond measure. The Europeans saw in all this a 
menace to their power, and the beginning of the end 
of imperial despotism in India. They thought they 
were on the verge of losing India. In Lord Ripon 
the Indians recognised the first British viceroy who 
was prepared to make an honest attempt at giving 
effect to the pledges given and the promises made 
by Queen Victoria in her famous proclamation of 
1858, when the administration of India passed into 
the hands of the regular British Government. Lord 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 121 

Ripon lost the battle on the particular measure which 
had aroused the anger of the European community 
more than anything else, viz., his proposed amend- 
ment of the Criminal Procedure Code. A compro- 
mise was made by which the principle of the bill was 
really abandoned. But he had raised hopes and 
aspiration which were, so to say, the beginning of 
political life in India. On the expiration of his term 
of office, the Indians agitated for an extension of his 
term, which was not granted. However, they gave 
him a farewell which still rings in the ears of the 
older generation of Indians who took part in it, in 
Calcutta, in Bombay, in Benares, and other places. 

Lord Ripon left a permanent impression on the 
minds of the Indians. Lord Hardinge has won a 
great deal of popularity, but it is doubtful if he is so 
universally loved and honoured as Lord Ripon 

Lord Dufferin. However, the point of the story 
is, that when Lord Ripon left India, the country was 
in a state of perturbation. There was a great deal 
of tension still lingering between the Indian and the 
European communities. The fire was still smoulder- 
ing when Lord Dufferin took charge of the office of 
viceroyalty. He had been brought up in diplomacy. 
To him diplomacy was like mother's milk. He was 
a diplomat by birth as well as by training. His mis- 
sion was to appease the anger of the governing class 
and in a quiet way to undo what Lord Ripon had 
done. But he thought that perhaps it might be dan- 
gerous to go at it straight. The cry of political 
liberty and political equality had been raised. It 


was impossible to satisfy it; yet it might be danger- 
ous to strangle it by force. It was impossible to re- 
vive the Vernacular Press Act of Lord Lytton. It 
was impossible to stifle political life which had 
sprung up in the atmosphere created by Lord Ripon's 
policy, and which was making a rather precocious 
growth. The more it was opposed, ridiculed and 
despised, the more it thrived. So he decided to 
guide it and to make it as innocuous as it could be 
without rousing the suspicions of those who were to 
be the tools. 


Indian National Congress an English Product. 
It is an undisputed historical fact, that the idea 
of the Indian National Congress was a product of 
Lord Dufferin's brain; that he suggested it to Mr. 
Hume, 6 and that the latter undertook to work it out. 
We have no means of knowing whether Mr. Hume 
communicated the fact to all the Indian leaders who 
joined hands with him in organising it, but in all 
probability he told some of them. It leaked out, 
however, in Lord Dufferin's lifetime, was published 
in the press, brought to his notice and never denied 
by him. Nor did Mr. Hume, who died only in 
1912, ever deny it. It has since been admitted to be 
true by his biographer, another veteran Congress 
leader, Sir William Wedderburn. 7 Sir William 

6 Mr. Hume was an ex-secretary of the Government of India 
who had retired from service. 

7 Sir William Wedderburn is also a retired member of the 
Government of Bombay, India. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 123 

says on page 59 of his life of Mr. Hume : " Indeed 
in initiating the National Movement, Mr. Hume took 
counsel with the viceroy, Lord Dufferin; and 
zvhereas he was himself disposed to begin his reform 
propaganda on the social side, it was apparently by 
Lord Dufferin's adznce that he took up the work of 
political organisation as the first matter to be dealt 
with." We have no hesitation in accepting the ac- 
curacy of the statement made by Sir William Wed- 
derburn as to what Lord Dufferin told Mr. Hume, 
because we have no doubt of Mr. Hume's sincerity 
of purpose. Lord Dufferin did evidently tell Mr. 
Hume that " as head of the Government, he had 
found the greatest difficulty in ascertaining the real 
wishes of the people; and that for purposes of ad- 
ministration it would be a public benefit, if there ex- 
isted some responsible organisation through which 
the Government might be kept informed regarding 
the best Indian public opinion." Sir William Wed- 
derburn assures us that " these kindly counsels («. e., 
those given by Lord Dufferin) were received with 
grateful appreciation by all concerned," and " in- 
deed so cordial were the relations " between the 
officials and the Congress leaders that " Lord Duf- 
ferin was approached with a view to the first Con- 
gress being held under the presidency of Lord 
Reay, then Governor of Bombay." We are told 
that Lord Dufferin welcomed the proposal as show- 
ing the desire of the Congress to work in complete 
harmony with the Government, but he saw many 
difficulties in accepting the proposal, and so the idea 
was abandoned. " None the less the first Congress 


was opened with the friendly sympathy of the high- 
est authorities." 

So this is the genesis of the Congress, and this 
alone is sufficient to condemn it in the eyes of the ad- 
vanced Nationalists. There is no parallel to this in 
the history of the world. Who has ever heard of a 
movement for political liberty being initiated by a 
despotic government, which is foreign in its agency 
and foreign in its methods? 

Hume, a Lover of Liberty. It is obvious that 
when Lord Dufferin expected a political organisa- 
tion to represent the best Indian opinion, it was far 
from his mind to suggest an organisation that would 
demand parliamentary government for India, or 
self-government even on colonial lines. What he 
evidently aimed at was a sort of an innocuous asso- 
ciation which should serve more as a " safety valve " 
than as a genuine Nationalist organisation for na- 
tional purposes. Mr. Hume may have meant more. 
He was a lover of liberty and wanted political liberty 
for India under the ccgis of the British crown. He 
was an English patriot and as such he wanted the 
continuance of British connection with India. He 
saw danger to British rule in discontent going under- 
ground, and one of his objects in establishing the 
Congress was to save British rule in India from an 
impending calamity of the gravest kind which he 
thought was threatening it at that time. In his 
reply to Sir Auckland Colvin, 8 he admitted that " a 

8 Sir Auckland Colvin was the Lieutenant Governor of the 
then North Western Provinces (now the United Province of 
Agra and Oudh). 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 125 

safety valve for the escape of great and growing 
forces generated by " British " connection, was 
urgently needed, and no more efficacious safety valve 
than " the " Congress movement could possibly be 
devised." This correspondence between Sir Auck- 
land Colvin, then Lieutenant Governor of the United 
Provinces, and Mr. Hume, reveals the whole genesis 
of the Congress movement, and is so clear and 
illuminating that no student of Indian politics can 
afford to neglect it. 

It leaves no doubt whatsoever that the immediate 
motive which underlay the idea of starting the Con- 
gress was to save the Empire from " the danger " 
that loomed ahead " tremendous in the immediate 
future," " the misery of the masses acted on by the 
bitter resentment of individuals among the educated 
class." In the words of Mr. Hume, " no choice was 
left to those who gave the primary impetus to the 
movement. The ferment, the creation of Western 
ideas, education, invention, and appliances, was at 
work with a rapidly increasing intensity, and it be- 
came of paramount importance to find for its prod- 
ucts an overt and constitutional channel for dis- 
charge, instead of leaving them to fester as they had 
already commenced to do, under the surface." Mr. 
Hume further adds that though " in certain prov- 
inces and from certain points of view the movement 
was premature, yet from the most important point 
of view, the future maintenance of the integrity of 
the British Empire, the real question when the Con- 
gress started, was, not is it premature, but is it too 
iate? will the country now accept it?" Indeed, by 


that test, the events have proved that the Indian 
National Congress has been a great success, and 
that either Mr. Hume's reading of the political situ- 
ation was exaggerated, or that his remedy has been 
amply justified. 

Congress to Save British Empire from Danger. 
But one thing is clear, that the Congress was started 
more with the object of saving the British Empire 
from danger than with that of winning political lib- 
erty for India. The interests of the British Empire 
were primary and those of India only secondary, and 
no one can say that the Congress has not been true to 
that ideal. It might be said with justice and reason 
that the founders of the Indian National Congress 
considered the maintenance of British rule in India 
of vital importance to India herself, and therefore 
were anxious to do everything in their power, not 
only to save that rule from any danger that threat- 
ened it, but even to strengthen it ; that with them the 
redress of political grievances and the political ad- 
vance of India was only a by-product and of second- 
ary importance. If so, the Congress has been true 
to its ideal, and no one can find fault with it. 

On the strength of an illuminating memorandum 
found among his papers, Hume's biographer has 
stated the nature of the evidence that " convinced " 
Mr. Hume at the time (i. e. } about 15 months be- 
fore Lord Lytton left India) that the British were 
" in immediate danger of a terrible outbreak." We 
will give it in Mr. Hume's own words. 

" I was shown seven large volumes (correspond- 
ing to a certain mode of dividing the country, ex- 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 127 

eluding Burmah, Assam, and some minor tracts) 
containing a vast number of entries; English ab- 
stracts or translations — longer or shorter — of ver- 
nacular reports or communications of one kind or 
another, all arranged according to districts (not 
identical with ours), sub-districts, sub-divisions, and 
the cities, towns and villages included in these. The 
number of these entries was enormous; there were 
said, at the time, to be communications from over 
thirty thousand different reporters. I did not count 
them, they seemed countless; but in regard to the 
towns and villages of one district of the Northwest 
Provinces with which I possess a peculiarly intimate 
acquaintance — a troublesome part of the country, 
no doubt — there were nearly three hundred entries, 
a good number of which I could partially verify, as 
to the names of the people, etc." He mentions that 
he had the volumes in his possession only for about 
a week; into six of them he only dipped; but he 
closely examined one covering the greater portion 
of the Northwest Provinces, Oudh, Behar, parts 
of Bundelkund and parts of the Punjab; and so far 
as possible verified the entries referring to those dis- 
tricts with which he had special personal acquaint- 
ance. Many of the entries reported conversations 
between men of the lowest classes, 9 " all going to 
show that these poor men were pervaded with a sense 
of the hopelessness of the existing state of affairs ; 
that they were convinced that they would starve and 

9 The quotations from Hume are taken out of W. Wedder- 
burn's Allan Octavian Hume, the parts enclosed in parenthe- 
sis are Wedderburn's. 


die, and that they wanted to do something, and stand 
by each other, and that something meant violence/' 
(for innumerable entries referred to the secretion 
of old swords, spears and matchlocks, which would 
be ready when required. It was not supposed that 
the immediate result, in its initial stages, would be 
a revolt against the Government, or a revolt at all in 
the proper sense of the word. What was predicted 
was a sudden violent outbreak of sporadic crimes, 
murders of obnoxious persons, robbery of bankers, 
looting of bazaars). " In the existing state of the 
lowest half-starving classes, it was considered that 
the first few crimes would be the signal for hundreds 
of similar ones, and for a general development of 
lawlessness, paralysing the authorities and the re- 
spectable classes. It was considered also, that every- 
where the small bands would begin to coalesce into 
large ones, like drops of water on a leaf; that all the 
bad characters in the country would join, and that 
very soon after the bands obtained formidable pro- 
portions, a certain small number of the educated 
classes, at the time desperately, perhaps, unreason- 
ably, bitter against the Government, would join the 
movement, assume here and there the lead, give the 
outbreak cohesion, and direct it as a national revolt." 

To this, Sir William Wedderburn adds further 
from his own personal knowledge : 

' The forecast of trouble throughout India was in 
exact accordance with what actually occurred, under 
my own observation, in the Bombay Presidency, in 
connection with the Agrarian rising known as the 
Deccan riots. These began with sporadic gang rob- 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 129 

beries and attacks on the money lenders, until the 
bands of dacoits, combining together, became too 
strong for the police; and the whole military force 
at Poona, horse, foot, and artillery, had to take the 
field against them. Roaming through the jungle 
tracts of the Western Ghauts, these bands dispersed 
in the presence of military forces, only to reunite 
immediately at some convenient point ; and from the 
hill stations of Mahableshwar and Matheran we 
could at night see the light of their campfires in all 
directions. A leader from the more instructed class 
was found, calling himself Sivaji, the Second, who 
addressed challenges to the Government, offered a 
reward of 500 rupees for the head of H. E. Sir 
Richard Temple (then Governor of Bombay), and 
claimed to lead a national revolt upon the lines on 
which the Mahratta power had originally been 

So in the words of these two leaders, the immedi- 
ate motive of the Congress was to save the British 
Empire from this danger. There is, however, one 
difficulty in believing outright that this was the im- 
mediate reason of the birth of the Congress. Mr. 
Hume is said to have seen this evidence at the time he 
was in the service of the Government, viz., fifteen 
months before Lord Lytton left India. Between 
then and the first meeting of the Congress in 1885 
intervened a period of about seven years. During 
this time Lord Ripon was viceroy for five years. 
The idea of starting a political organisation on the 
lines of the Congress is said to have originated with 
Lord Dufferin. 


This is a little inconsistent with the theory that 
the Congress was founded out of fear of a political 
outbreak and only in the nature of a safety valve. 
Nor is the latter theory consistent with Mr. Hume's 
first political manifesto addressed to the graduates 
of the Calcutta University in March, 1883. This 
document is so manly in its outspokenness, so true 
in its principles, that we will quote the whole of it 
(or at least as much of it as is given in Mr. Hume's 
biography). Addressing the graduates of the uni- 
versity, Mr. Hume said : 

" Constituting, as you do, a large body of the 
most highly educated Indians, you should, in the 
natural order of things, constitute also the most im- 
portant source of all mental, moral, social, and po- 
litical progress in India. Whether in the individual 
or the nation, all vital progress must spring from 
within, and it is to you, her most cultured and en- 
lightened minds, her most favoured sons, that your 
country must look for the initiative. In vain may 
aliens, like myself, love India and her children, as 
well as the most loving of these; in vain may they, 
for her and their good, give time and trouble, money 
and thought; in vain may they struggle and sacri- 
fice; they may assist with advice and suggestions; 
they may place their experience, abilities and knowl- 
edge at the disposal of the workers, but they lack 
the essential of nationality, and the real work must 
ever be done by the people of the country them- 
selves." " Scattered individuals, however capable 
and however well meaning, are powerless singly. 
What is needed is union, organisation and a well 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 131 

defined line of action ; and to secure these an associa- 
tion is required, armed and organised with unusual 
care, having for its object to promote the mental, 
moral, social and political regeneration of the people 
of India. Our little army must be sui generis in 
discipline and equipment, and the question simply is, 
how many of you will prove to possess, in addition 
to your high scholastic attainments, the unselfishness, 
moral courage, self-control, and active spirit of 
benevolence which are essential in all who should en- 

Even truer and nobler are the sentiments in the 
final appeal which ended this letter and which runs 

" As I said before, you are the salt of the land. 
And if amongst even you, the elite, fifty men can not 
be found with sufficient power of self-sacrifice, suf- 
ficient love for and pride in their country, sufficient 
genuine and unselfish heartfelt patriotism to take the 
initiative, and if needs be, devote the rest of their 
lives to the cause, then there is no hope for India. 
Her sons must and will remain mere humble and 
helpless instruments in the hands of foreign rulers, 
for ' they who would be free, themselves must strike 
the blow.' And if even the leaders of thought are 
all either such poor creatures, or so selfishly wedded 
to personal concerns, that they dare not or will not 
strike a blow for their country's sake, then justly 
and rightly are they kept down and trampled on, for 
they deserve nothing better. Every nation secures 
precisely as good a government as it merits. If you, 
the picked men, the most highly educated of the na- 


tion, can not, scorning personal ease and selfish ends, 
make a resolute struggle to secure freedom for your- 
selves and your country, a more impartial admini- 
stration, a larger share in the management of your 
own affairs, then we, your friends, are wrong, and 
our adversaries right ; then are Lord Ripon's aspira- 
tions for your good, fruitless and visionary ; then, at 
present, at any rate, all hopes of progress are at an 
end, and India truly neither lacks nor deserves any 
better government than she now enjoys. Only, if 
this be so, let us hear no more factious, peevish com- 
plaints that you are kept in leading strings, and 
treated like children, for you will have proved your- 
selves such. Men know how to act. Let there be 
no more complaints of Englishmen being preferred 
to you in all important offices, for if you lack that 
public spirit, that highest form of altruistic devo- 
tion that leads men to subordinate private ease to 
the public weal, that true patriotism that has made 
Englishmen what they are, then rightly are these 
preferred to you, and rightly and inevitably have 
they become your rulers. And rulers and task- 
masters they must continue, let the yoke gall your 
shoulders ever so sorely, until you realise and stand 
prepared to act upon the eternal truth, whether in 
the case of individuals or nations, self-sacrifice and 
unselfishness are the only unfailing guides to free- 
dom and happiness." 

The capitals and italics are, except in two cases, 
ours. In the original there are only two italics, 
(i) the word themselves in the sentence "they 
who would be free, themselves must strike the 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 133 

blow," and, (2) "Men know how to act." Now 
these are not the words of a diplomat, much less 
those of a hypocrite. Mr. Hume was too noble not 
to mean what he said, and the present writer has 
no doubt but that Mr. Hume was absolutely sincere 
in what he said. He had a passion for liberty. 
His heart bled at the sight of so much misery and 
poverty as prevailed in India, and which according 
to him was preventable by good government. He 
burned with indignation at the " cowardly " be- 
haviour of his countrymen towards Indians, and he 
could not help feeling ashamed at the way in which 
pledges given and promises made were being ig- 
nored. He was an ardent student of history and 
knew full well that no government, whether na- 
tional or foreign, had conceded to popular demands 
without pressure from below. In the case of an 
alien government, the chances were even still more 
meagre. He therefore wanted the Indians " to 
strike" for their liberty if they wanted it. The 
first step was to organise. So he advised organisa- 

Nor are we prepared to believe that men 
like Ranade, Tilak, Naoroji, W. C. Bonnerjea, 
Ajudhia Nath, and Tyabji, were only tools in the 
hands of the Britishers. No, we do not think so. 
They were all true and good patriots. They loved 
their country and they started the Congress with 
the best of motives. It is possible that with some 
British sympathisers, the interests of the British 
Empire were primary, and they sided with the 
Congress because they believed that thereby they 


could best secure the Empire; but the writer of this 
book knows from personal experience how deeply 
the love of humanity and liberty is embedded in the 
hearts of some Britishers, and he is compelled to 
believe that at least some of those who showed their 
sympathy with the Congress were of that kind. 

The Imperialist Junker and Jingo calls such men 
" Little Englanders," but the truth is that their 
hearts are too big to be imperial. They believe in 
humanity, and in liberty being the birthright of 
every human being. In their eyes a tyrant, one 
who robs others of their liberty, one who bases his 
greatness on the exploitation of others, or deprives 
them of their rights by might or clever diplomacy, 
does not cease to be so by the fact of his being their 
countryman. They are patriots themselves and 
will shed the last drop of their blood in the defence 
of their liberty, and in the defence of their coun- 
try's liberty and independence, but their patriotism 
does not extend to the point of applauding their 
country's robbing others of theirs. Yes, there are 
Britons who are sincere friends of the cause of lib- 
erty all over the globe. They deplore that their 
country should be ruling India at all, and if it were 
in their power, they would at once withdraw from 
India. Some of these sympathise with the Indian 
Nationalists in all sincerity, and have done so ever 
since the Indian National Congress was started, or 
even from before that time. It is no fault of theirs, 
if the Indian Nationalist Movement has not been 
such a success as they would have wished it to be, 
and if it has not been able to achieve anything very 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 135 

tangible. The fault is purely that of the Indians, 
and of the Indians alone, or of the circumstances. 

Mr. Hume was quite sincere in his motives, but 
he forgot that a political organisation started at the 
instance or even with the approval of the rulers 
whose power and emoluments it proposed to cur- 
tail, whose despotism and principles it questioned, 
in short, whom it proposed to displace and dethrone, 
was an anomaly; it was unnatural. In their desire 
to have an easy and unopposed start, the Indian 
founders of the National Congress forgot their his- 
tory, and consequently ignored the truth that 
" those who wanted to be free must themselves 
strike the blow," and that it was monstrous to expect 
those against whom the blow was aimed to bless 
the striker and the striking. We do not agree with 
Mr. Gokhale that " no Indian could have started 
the Indian National Congress " and that " if the 
founder of the Congress had not been a great Eng- 
lishman and a distinguished ex-official, such was the 
official distrust of political agitation in those days 
that the authorities would have at once found some 
way or other to suppress the movement." 

First, political agitation did not start with the 
Congress. It had been started before and no at- 
tempt to suppress it had succeeded. Second, the 
distrust of political agitation in India was not 
greater in those days than it is now and has been 
during the life of the Congress. But if it be true 
that the movement could not have been started by 
an Indian or by the combined efforts of many In- 
dians, all we can say is that that itself would be 


proof of its having been started before time and 
on wrong foundations. 

Had not Mr. Hume said that " whether in the 
individual or the nation, all vital progress must 
spring from within," and that it was " to her own 
sons that the country must look for the initiative?" 
Did not Mr. Hume say in his manifesto of 1883 
that " in vain may aliens like myself love India . . . 
in vain may they struggle and sacrifice . . . they 
may assist with advice and suggestion, but they lack 
the essential of nationality, and the real work must 
ever be done by the people of the country them- 

These may be only truisms, but they are funda- 
mental and any political effort made in defiance of 
them must be futile and impotent. The Indian 
leaders of the Congress have never fully realised 
the absolute truth of these principles and the result 
is the comparatively poor record of the Congress. 
In his original manifesto issued in 1883, Mr. Hume 
wanted fifty Indians " with sufficient power of self- 
sacrifice, sufficient love for and pride in their coun- 
try, sufficient genuine and unselfish heartfelt patri- 
otism to take the initiative and if needs be to devote 
the rest of their lives to the cause." 

Of course there were many times fifty men of 
that kind in the country, even then, who were de- 
voting their lives to the service of their country, but 
not in the political line. It took the Congress and 
the country, by working on Congress lines, more 
than twenty years to produce fifty, many times fifty, 
such men to devote their lives to the political cause. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 137 

But unfortunately these are neither in the Con- 
gress, nor of the Congress. Barring Mr. Dadabhai 
Naoroji and the late Mr. Gokhale, who among the 
living Congress leaders can be said to have devoted 
their lives, in the way Mr. Hume wanted them to 
do, to the Congress cause? Within the last thirty 
years India has produced many noble sons who have 
given their all in the service of the Motherland. 
They come from all provinces, all religions, all de- 
nominations, and all castes. But very few of them 
have ever been active in the Congress or for the 
Congress. Within the same period many Indians 
have given away many hundreds of thousands of 
rupees, some the whole earnings of a lifetime, in 
aid of education or for other public or charitable 
purposes; but the Congress work has always lan- 
guished for want of funds. The British Commit- 
tee of the Indian National Congress, located in 
London, have never had sufficient money to do their 
work decently. The expenses of the British Com- 
mittee have largely fallen on Sir William Wedder- 
burn. He and Mr. Hume between them spent quite 
a fortune on the movement. No single Indian is 
said to have spent even a fraction of that. The 
question naturally arises, — why has it been so ? 
The answer is obvious. The movement did not 
appeal to the nation. The leaders lacked that faith 
which alone makes it possible to make great sacri- 
fices for it. 

In the early years of the Congress there was a 
great deal of enthusiasm for it among the English 
educated Indians. So long as no attempts were 


made to reach the masses and carry on the propa- 
ganda among the people, the officials expressed 
their sympathy with the movement. Lord Duf- 
ferin even invited the members as " distinguished 
visitors " to a garden party at Government House, 
Calcutta, when the Congress held its second session 
in that city in 1886. In 1887 the Governor of 
Madras paid a similar compliment to them at 
Madras, 10 but in 1888 when Mr. Hume adopted the 
methods and tactics of the Corn-Law Leaguers of 
England, down came the hand of the Government; 
and then the Congress movement at once adopted 
an apologetic tone and abandoned the only method 
by which it could make itself heard with effect. 
Why? Because, in the words of Mr. Hume, there 
were no " men who could act." 

The Congress Lacked Essentials of a National 
Movement. Ever since then the Congress has cared 
more for the opinion of the Government and the of- 
ficials than for truth or for the interests of the coun- 
try. Again the question arises, why ? And the reply 
is, because the leaders had neither sufficient political 
consciousness nor faith. They had certain political 
opinions, but not beliefs for which they were will- 
ing to suffer. They were prepared to urge the 
desirability of certain reforms in the government 
of the country, even at the risk of a certain amount 
of official displeasure, but they were not prepared 
to bear persecutions, or suffer for their cause. 

10 These compliments have been renewed of late. The Con- 
gress held at Madras in 1914 was attended by the British 
Governor of the Presidency. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 139 

Either they did not know they had a cause, or they 
were wanting in that earnestness which makes men 
suffer for a cause. Or, to be charitable, they 
thought that the country was not prepared for an 
intense movement and considered it better to have 
something than nothing. They perhaps wanted to 
educate the country in political methods and bring 
about a political consolidation of all the national 
forces, before undertaking an intensified movement. 
But with the greatest possible respect for the found- 
ers of the Indian National Congress, or for those 
who a few years ago took up the control of the 
movement, we cannot help remarking that by their 
own conduct they showed that their movement 
lacked the essentials of a national movement. 

A movement does not become national by the 
mere desire of its founders to make it so. In the 
opinion of the writer it is a mistake to start a na- 
tional political movement unless those who start it 
are prepared to make great sacrifices for it. A 
halting, half-hearted political movement depending 
on the sympathy and good will of the very class 
against whom it is directed, consulting their wishes 
at every step, with its founders or leaders trembling 
for their safety and keeping their purse strings 
tight, only doing as much as the authorities would 
allow and as would not interfere in any way with , 
their own personal interests and comforts and in- 
comes, is from its very nature detrimental to real 
national interests. A political movement is mis- 
chievous in its effects if its leaders do not put a 
sufficient amount of earnestness into it to evoke 


great enthusiasm among their followers, such as 
would prepare them for great sacrifices for the 
cause on the one hand, and on the other, produce 
a certain amount of fear of unpleasant conse- 
quences in those against whom it is directed. For 
this it is necessary that the leaders should be pre- 
pared to suffer for the cause. The sacrifice of 
money is the least proof of earnestness which a be- 
liever in any cause can give. 

It is a fact that the English friends of the move- 
ment showed more earnestness than many of the 
Indian leaders. They spent their own money over 
it and they incurred the displeasure of their coun- 
trymen and the odium of being called traitors to 
their own country. Mr. Hume was " in deadly 
earnest." He started the movement with the good 
will of the authorities and waited for results for 
two years. When, however, he found that " the 
platonic expressions of sympathy by the authorities 
were a mockery," that nothing was done to lessen 
the " misery of the masses " and to relieve their 
sufferings and redress their grievances, he decided 
to put more intensity into the movement. He 
undertook to instruct the Indian nation and rouse 
them to a sense of their right and to a sense of the 
wrong that was being done to them. In his opin- 
ion, " the case was one of extreme urgency, for the 
deaths by famine and pestilence were counted not 
by tens of thousands or by hundreds of thousands, 
but by millions." u He concluded that " in order 
to constrain the Government to move, the leaders of 

11 Mr. Hume's biography by Sir William Wedderburn, p. 62. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 141 

the Indian people must adopt measures of excep- 
tional vigour, following the drastic methods pur- 
sued in England by Bright and Cobden in their 
great campaign on behalf of the people's food." 
So, like Cobden, Hume decided that since the at- 
tempt of the Congress leaders to instruct the Gov- 
ernment had failed and since the Government had 
refused to be instructed by them, the next step was 
" to instruct the nations, the great English nation 
in its island home, and also the far greater nation 
of this vast Indian continent, so that every Indian 
that breathes upon the sacred soil of this our moth- 
erland, shall become our comrade and coadjutor, 
our supporter and if need be our soldier, in the 
great war that we, like Cobden and his noble band, 
will wage for justice, for our liberties and our 
rights." 12 

Hume's Political Movement. Now these were 
noble words, pointing out the only political weapon 
that ever succeeds against autocratic governments. 
We are told by Mr. Hume's biographer that " in 
pursuance of such a propaganda in India, Mr. 
Hume set to work with his wonted energy, appeal- 
ing for funds to all classes of the Indian commu- 
nity, distributing tracts, leaflets and pamphlets, 
sending out lecturers and calling meetings both in 
large towns and in country districts. Throughout 
the country over one thousand meetings were held, 
at many of which over five thousand persons were 
present, and arrangements were made for the dis- 
tribution of half a million pamphlets, translations 

12 Mr. Hume's biography by Sir W. W., p. 63. 


into twelve Indian languages being circulated of two 
remarkable pamphlets, showing by a parable the 
necessary evils of absentee state landlordism, how- 
ever benevolent the intention." 13 

That was true political work, done with a real 
political insight. If it had been persevered in, the 
history of the Congress would have been different 
and perhaps the revolutionary party would never 
have been born or would have been born earlier. 
In either case the country would have been farther 
ahead in politics than it is now. What, however, 
actually happened was that the Government was at 
once moved to hostility. Lord Dufferin spoke of 
the Congress in terms of contempt " as the infini- 
tesimal minority," at a Calcutta dinner. Sir Auck- 
land Colvin stirred up the Mohammedans, organ- 
ised an Anti-Congress Association and denounced 
the Congress in no measured terms, as mischievous, 
disloyal, and much before the time. 

Congress Overazvcd. Mr. Hume started to ex- 
plain in an apologetic tone. It was at this time that 
he came out with the " safety valve " theory. The 
propaganda was at once abandoned, never to be re- 
sumed in the history of the movement. The move- 
ment in England failed for want of funds. The 
movement in India collapsed for want of persever- 
ance, vigour and earnestness. Here again we are 
disposed to think that Mr. Hume's subsequent con- 
duct was influenced more by the fears and half- 
heartedness of the Indian leaders than by his own 
judgment. If the Indian leaders had stuck to their 

13 Biography, p. 63. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 143 

guns and pushed on their propaganda, the country 
would have supplied funds and would have rallied 
round them. Perhaps there might have been a few 
riots and a few prosecutions. But that would have 
drawn the attention of the British public to Indian 
conditions more effectively than their twenty-eight 
years of half-hearted propaganda in England did. 
The political education of the people would have 
been more rapid and the movement would have 
gained such a strength as to make itself irresistible. 
It is possible, nay, probable, that the Government 
would have suppressed the movement. But that it- 
self would have been a victory and a decided and 
effective step in the political education of the people. 
The revolutionary movement would have come ear- 
lier and the Government would have seen the wis- 
dom of conciliating the moderates much earlier than 
1909. What was given to us in 1909 might have 
been given twenty years earlier. The Mohamme- 
dans would have been happy to get in 1889 what 
they got in 1909. The Indian leaders, however, 
thought that they were not sufficiently strong and 
that the movement stood the chance of being sup- 
pressed. They gave in and abandoned the only ef- 
fective weapon they had forged to get redress of 
political grievances. 

No nation and no political party can ever be 
strong enough to make their voice effective, unless 
and until they put forward a sufficient amount of 
earnestness (not bluff) to convince their opponents 
that in case their demands are trifled with, the con- 
sequences might be serious to both parties. The 


history of political advance in self -governed coun- 
tries like England, Germany, France, etc., amply 
proves this. No political agitation need be started 
unless those who are engaged in it are prepared to 
back it by the power of the purse and the power of 

Congress Agitation in England. The Congress 
overawed in 1888 and 1889, failed in both respects. 
So far as the first is concerned, why, that has been 
a theme of lamentation, appeals, and wailings from 
year to year. Friends in England, whether in or 
outside the British Committee, have lamented it in 
pathetic terms. The Congress agitation in England 
has never been effective. The Congress has had 
precious little influence on English public opinion, 
and although the British Committee of the Congress 
have had an office and an organ in London for the 
last 25 years or more, their influence in English 
politics has been almost nil. But for the generosity 
of Mr. Hume and Sir William Wedderburn, the 
Congress office in London might have been long ago 
closed. The leaders of the Congress have talked very 
much of their implicit faith in the English nation; 
they have held out hopes of our getting a redress of 
our wrongs if we could only inform the British peo- 
ple of the condition of things prevalent in India; yet 
the efforts they have put forward to achieve that 
end have been puerile and paltry. There is a party 
of Indian politicians who do not believe in agitation 
in England, but the leaders of the Congress and 
those who have controlled the organisation in the 
last 30 years do not profess to belong to that party. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 145 

We shall now try to explain why this has been 

Causes of Failure of the Congress. ( 1 ) . The 
movement was neither inspired by the people nor 
devised or planned by them. It was a movement 
not from within. No section of the Indian people 
identified themselves with it so completely as to feel 
that their existence as honourable men depended on 
its successful management. The movement was 
started by an Englishman, at the suggestion of an 
English pro-consul. The Indians, who professed 
to lead it, were either actually in government service 
or in professions allied to government service and 
created by the Government. A good many of the 
latter aspired to offices under the Government or to 
a recognition of their merit and public spirit by the 
Government. They were patriotic enough to give 
a part of their time and energy to the movement, so 
long as it did not clash with their own interests, so 
long as they were not required to mar their careers 
for it, or so long as it did not demand heavy sacri- 
fices from them. We do not question either their 
motives or their patriotism, but it was not suffi- 
ciently intense to induce them to stake their all on it. 

(2). The movement lacked the essentials of a 
popular movement. The leaders were not in 
touch with the people. Perhaps they did not 
even want to come in touch with them. Their 
propaganda was confined to a few English-educated 
persons, was carried on in English and was meant 
for the ears of the authorities rather than for the 
people. The leaders always felt shy of the masses, 


made no efforts to reach them, and systematically 
discouraged the younger men from doing the same. 
Some of them have openly opposed efforts in this 

(3). The leaders failed to inspire enthusiasm 
among the people, either by their own failure to 
make sacrifices, or by the triviality of their sacri- 
fices. Their ordinary life, their income, their pros- 
perity, and their luxuries were in no way affected 
by the movement. There were only two exceptions 
to this, viz., Dadabhai Naoroji and Gokhale. The 
sacrifices of Messrs. Hume and Wedderburn shamed 
the people, but failed to appeal to their imagination. 
In fact, they roused the anger of the people against 
the leaders and created distrust. The spectacle of 
leaders accepting high offices they were offered 
under the Government added to this distrust. 

(4). The movement was neither confined to a se- 
lect few, nor open to all. While the people were 
expected to add to the spectacular side of the show 
by their presence in large numbers, by crowded 
meetings, by cheers and applause, they were never 
given a hand in the movement. Differences of 
opinion were always discouraged and free discus- 
sion was never allowed. It was neither a public 
forum, nor a private meeting of the select few. In 
the latter case it would have been less expensive 
and would have saved money for work in England. 
In the former case it would have been more effective. 

(5). A national movement, demanding only a few 
concessions and not speaking of the liberties of the 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 147 

nation and of its ideals, is never an effective move- 
ment. It is at best an opportunist movement. It is 
mischievous in so far as it diverts attention from 
substantial nation building and character making. 
It brings fame without sacrifice. It opens oppor- 
tunities for treacheries and hypocrisies. It enables 
some people to trade in the name of patriotism. No 
political movement can be entirely free from these 
disadvantages, but the greatest mischief which a po- 
litical movement lightly handled and led does, is 
that it delays the development of the people on 
normal lines by raising hopes which are baseless and 
can never be realised by means recommended and 
methods adopted. 



The National Movement in India continued on 
its placid and humdrum course until Lord Curzon's 
ridicule of the movement convinced the people that 
the political methods of the Congress were quite 
powerless to bring them any relief against the 
despotism that trampled upon all their rights and 
sensibilities. This led to a deeper and a closer study 
of the political problem on the part of men who had 
convictions as distinguished from opinions, who had 
faith as against opportunism, who wanted a soul for 
their people, rather than a few more posts under the 
Government. They discovered that the movement 
had suffered not only by the adoption of wrong 
methods and by want of sacrifice on the part of 


leaders, but by their failure to grasp principles and 
to formulate ideals. Hence the cry of Swadeshi 
and Swaraj. 14 

Swadeshi and Szvaraj. No sooner was the cry 
raised than the country was swept by a wave of po- 
litical activity which deeply and intimately influ- 
enced the proceedings of the Congress in 1905 and 
1906. Calcutta might have witnessed in 1906 
what Surat did in 1907, but for the sagacity and 
patriotism of Dadabhai, who rose equal to the oc- 
casion and blessed the cry for self-government. He 
declared in the words of Sir Henry Campbell-Ban- 
nerman, the British Premier, that good government 
could never be a substitute for self-government. So 
far good government had been the ideal of the Con- 
gress. At the Calcutta session of 1906 it was 
changed to self-government, — and from the mouth 
of a man who had devoted his whole life to the po- 
litical cause. That is the date of the birth of the 
real National Movement in India. 

The Surat Fiasco 15 was, among other causes, 
brought about by the fear that the so-called mod- 
erate leaders wanted to go back past what had been 
done in 1906. There is no doubt that they had 
gone back in spirit, though perhaps not in letter. 
The enthusiasm, created by popular propaganda of 
the Congress in 1888, was killed by the reaction that 
followed in subsequent years. The same thing 
would have happened in 1907 but for the fact that 

14 Swadeshi means country-made, and Swaraj means self- 
government or self-rule. 

15 The Congress session held at Surat in December, 1907, 
ended in a split preceded by a disorderly meeting. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 149 

this time the movement was sufficiently intense to 
claim its martyrs. 

The high ideals embodied in Swadeshi and 
Swaraj were the ideals worked out by the sons of 
India : the miseries of the motherland had given an 
impetus to the idea, but the idea itself stood on 
higher ground. It was not the redress of griev- 
ances that filled the mind of the people, but the de- 
sire for liberty. It was not concessions they wanted, 
but liberty. Liberty is not a thing of the earth, and 
therefore it can neither be given nor accepted as a 
gift. It has to be won. People felt that, and were 
prepared to realise that in their lives. 

After more than twenty years of more or less 
futile agitation for concessions and redress of 
grievances, they had received stones in place of 
bread. Lord Ripon was succeeded by a Curzon. 
People saw that a sort of mist, a deep, covering 
fog, had prevented them from seeing ahead. They 
had been wandering in pursuit of vain things. The 
haven had been concealed from their vision and the 
result was that their tiny bark had been following a 
wrong course. The waters were stormy and the 
sea was heavy, but no ship could reach its destina- 
tion unless the mariners and sailors in charge knew 
what their goal was, and unless they were prepared 
to put forth all they had in them to carry the bark 
through. So far, the bark had been sailing under 
misleading stars, without a compass to guide the 
captain. Now the compass was found and with the 
finding of the compass the aspect changed. Ideas 
inspire men. Ideals prepare them to breast mar- 


tyrdom. The ideal of Swaraj found men ready to 
suffer for it, to meet death like martyrs. The new 
movement has inspired a class of men whose life is 
filled with that idea and that idea alone. They are 
the worshippers of Swaraj ; they love their mother- 
land above everything else. They do not want of- 
fice, or incomes, or recognition, or applause. What 
they want is liberty, not for themselves, because that 
they might get perhaps by settling in other countries, 
but for their beloved country. High Court Judge- 
ships, Civil Service, Councils, mean nothing to 

The founders of the Indian National Congress 
began their movement under inspiration of govern- 
ment and under the shadow of the high offices they 
held or aspired to under that government, but the 
founders and inspirers of the National Movement 
started their propaganda by boycotting government 
and government patronage. The former wanted 
high offices, the latter despised those who held them. 
The former asked for concessions, the latter re- 
jected them. The former wanted Councils, the lat- 
ter would have nothing to do with them. The 
former appealed to the British Government and the 
British nation, the latter appealed to their own peo- 
ple and to their own patriotism and to their God. 
The former were led by the British, the latter by pure 
Indians. The former would not do anything which 
would mar their careers, the latter threw away their 
chances like poisoned bread. The former lived in 
bungalows, revelled in drawing rooms, velvet-cov- 
ered chairs, were attended by liveried servants, ate 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 151 

at well-furnished tables, entertained governors and 
migistrates ; the latter gave up even the little com- 
forts they had, changed trousers for dhotis, coats 
for chapkans or kurtas (shirts), overcoats for 
blankets, and boots for ordinary Swadeshi shoes. 
The former owed their prosperity in life, their posi- 
tions, and their comforts, to the British system, and 
were therefore under obligation to the British; but 
the latter chose the path of poverty and destitution 
to avoid obligations. They threw away their 
chances deliberately and with the conviction that 
that was the right thing to do. The former cared 
for wines, for children, and for home. The latter 
gave up all, to devote themselves completely to the 
cause and to the motherland. The former had pro- 
duced only two full time workers for the cause in 
the course of 22 years, the latter produced virtually 
hundreds and thousands in less than two years. 
The former worked under the best auspices, the lat- 
ter started their work under overhanging clouds, 
which soon burst and swept away many of them into 

Is it any wonder that under such inspiration the 
movement spread like wildfire and assumed wide 
proportions? Life met life. Forces met forces. 
Conflict and clash resulted in fatal accidents to 
either party. The casualties on the side of the Na- 
tionalists have been tremendously heavy and out of 
all proportion to their number, but judging the con- 
flict by the resources, no one need hesitate in saying 
that the moral victory lies with the Nationalists. 
Within less than five years of their propaganda, 


they forced the hand of the Government to make 
concessions which could not be even thought of in 
1905. The Congress leaders claim credit for them- 
selves and so does the Government; but the verdict 
of impartial and unbiased historians will be other- 

Lord Morley would rally the moderates because 
there were extremists in the land. In the absence 
of the so-called extremists, the moderates were ex- 
tremists and the Government and its agents looked 
down upon them. The Anglo-Indian statesman 
and his confidant, the moderate Congress leader, say 
that the extremists are few, that most of them are 
those good-for-nothings, who could do nothing at 
the universities, or with their lives; that they are 
maniacs and men who have lost all sense of right 
and wrong. 

Men who have Inspired the Movement. But look 
at the men who have inspired the movement, some 
of whom are leading it even to-day. Is Arabinda 
Ghosh a failure? Is Har Dayal a failure? Were 
the nine deportees from Bengal failures? How 
many high-class graduates have been hanged; how 
many are in jail ! Look at their university records 
and look at their prospects, and then say if you can 
call them " malcontents " or men who have arisen 
against the Government because they could not pros- 
per under it. Their propaganda has compelled the 
Government to adopt the severest repressive meas- 
ures open to a foreign government. The penal 
code has been amended to make the definition of 
sedition more comprehensive. The criminal pro- 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 153 

cedure code has been amended to facilitate convic- 
tions and to accelerate trials. Provisions have been 
added to enable magistrates to award summary im- 
prisonment for failure to give security for good be- 
haviour asked for on political grounds. A Sedi- 
tious Meetings Act has been enacted to make open 
propaganda impossible. An Explosives Act has 
been placed on the statute book. A Press Law has 
been passed to muzzle the press. Spies and detec- 
tives have been employed out of number. Teachers, 
professors, friends, pupils, class-fellows, parents, 
have all been requisitioned to crush the movement. 
The number of publications confiscated under the 
Press Act, the convictions for sedition, for seditious 
murders, for dacoities and for keeping arms, the 
sentences for failure to find securities for good be- 
haviour, all continue to grow. The cry is, " Still 
they come ! " In prisons the political prisoner has 
been subjected to horrible treatment; one committed 
suicide and another lost his senses in the Andamans. 
Many a tale of misery and wretchedness, of torture 
and of insults comes from the prisons in India, but 
still the movement is far from being crushed. 

There is evidence that new recruits join the secret 
propaganda every year and take the place of those 
hanged or imprisoned. A number has exiled them- 
selves and are carrying on their propaganda in dis- 
tant lands under very discouraging and depressing 
circumstances. The man who says that the move- 
ment is dead or dying must be a liar or a fool. The 
movement is alive and possibly as vigorous as it 
ever was. It has captured the imagination of the 


younger generation. And at least 75 per cent, of 
the students in India and in England sympathise 
with this party. Almost all are Anti-Congress. 
Even those who are not Nationalists do not like the 
Congress and feel no obligation towards it, because 
the Congress failed to communicate high principles 
and lay down high ideals, and because it failed to 
create that spirit of self-sacrifice, that willingness to 
suffer, without which no national movement can 
grow, prosper, and inspire. 

The failures of the Congress evolved the Na- 
tionalist Movement. The Congress did its work 
that way. It brought conviction home that no 
amount of prayers, resolutions, protests, memorials, 
could move the autocratic" bureaucracy in India, and 
no amount of petitions were likely to make any im- 
pression upon the people in England. The fact that 
the Congress leaders would not make sacrifices for 
the Congress cause, though they would give large 
amounts of money for educational purposes and 
other charities, forced people to think that they 
themselves had no faith in the Congress propaganda 
or in the Congress methods, though they lacked the 
courage to say so or to change their methods. It 
was perhaps unreasonable to expect that of the kind 
of men that led the Congress. Most of them loved 
their country and were public spirited; they had 
given proof of it, good and sufficient, in other sides 
of national activity, in the cause of social reform, 
in the cause of public education, in industrial propa- 
ganda. Outside the Congress they have done 
enough to create an atmosphere which was bound to 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 155 

bring about the development of the political move- 
ment along the lines on which it eventually did 
develop in 1905. 

The Nationalist child was, so to say, brought up 
on the lap of the old Congress man and fed on the 
food provided by him ; though, strange enough, this 
bringing up and this feeding produced results for 
which the Congressman was not prepared and 
which shocked him a bit. The first shock over, 
some of them were happy to have lived to see the 
day, and blessed the movement. Some made up 
their minds to throttle it, but soon found that it was 
not in their power to do so. The worst they could 
do was to condemn it and to denounce it. All they 
could achieve was to cut the new movement, shake 
off all responsibility for it, and thus secure their own 
safety. We do not say that they did it to save their 
skins. But fortunately for them their convictions 
led them the way their safety lay. In their heart 
of hearts they blessed the new movement and were 
heartily glad that it came. It acted and reacted on 
their own movement. It made it possible for them 
to put strength and force into their demands for 
concessions. Whenever an extremist leader re- 
canted or used compromising language, they were 
sorry. They wanted the movement to continue and 
to live, though they would not join it and though 
they believed that it was harmful to the country in 
some respects. They deplore the lack of enthusi- 
asm and sacrifice in their own ranks, but they admire 
the selflessness of the extremists and respect their 
real leaders. An Arabinda "Ghosh and a Tilak 


simply compel their admiration and respect. What- 
ever the shortcomings of Har Dayal may be, he is a 
unique personality. 

We have stated wherein the new movement dif- 
fered from the old, and we have also stated what 
its dominant note is. We would now like to ex- 
amine how it intended to proceed and how its hands 
were forced to do the things it has done since. 

Lord Curzon and Indian Education. We have al- 
ready hinted that Lord Curzon's policy and his ut- 
terances helped a great deal in the birth of the new 
movement. When Lord Curzon came to India, he 
formulated a rather ambitious programme of re- 
forms to be introduced into the administration of 
the country. One of these reforms related to edu- 

Every one in the country, who has had anything 
to do with education in India, was of opinion that 
the country was very backward in education and that 
the system of education there in vogue was de- 
fective. It laid too great stress on the literary side 
and did not fit people for the battle of life; it gave 
undue importance to the English language and 
Western modes of thought, at the cost of the ver- 
naculars and the indigenous civilisation of the coun- 
try ; it encouraged " cram " at the cost of real merit; 
it produced a class of imitators and left little scope 
or none for originality; it invited third class men 
from England to fill the highest positions in the edu- 
cational service of the country, and placed the best 
native intellect and talent under them to starve and 
rot for want of opportunities; it did not recognise 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 157 

the duty of the Government to look after the educa- 
tion of the child from the beginning until he was fit 
to fight his own way in the world. 

The educational system of the country required 
radical changes, but what was most needed was that 
the Government should be prepared to spend ade- 
quate sums of money for its spread and in order to 
make it efficient. Lord Curzon's pronouncements 
and programme therefore raised great hopes in the 
minds of the people. His University Commission 
was simply flooded with suggestions and statements 
from Indians and Anglo-Indians. The two classes, 
however, discussed the matter from entirely differ- 
ent standpoints : The Indians wanted greater fa- 
cilities for education, more schools, more colleges, 
more masters, more stipends, an extension of pri- 
mary school education, abler and better-paid teach- 
ers, freedom of private enterprise, ample provision 
for technical and industrial education ; but what they 
wanted most and cared for most was that education 
should be more nationalised and humanised. The 
Anglo-Indians wanted a curtailment of the educa- 
tional opportunities, a greater and stricter control of 
private enterprise, a raising of university standards, 
and a system of education which would curb the 
rising generation and make them more easily amen- 
able to discipline and obedience. 

Lord Curzon did go into all these questions, but 
the decision arrived at convinced the educated In- 
dians that the motive which underlay Lord Curzon's 
policy was the tightening of government control, the 
strangling of all independence in matters educa- 


tional, and the eventual weakening of all national 
movement and national sentiment. 

Lord Curzon' s Secret Educational Conference. 
The fact that he admitted no Indian to the meeting 
of the Secret Educational Conference held at Simla, 
when he formulated the government policy, strength- 
ened that idea. His University Legislation shocked 
the country beyond measure and left no doubt what- 
soever that what he aimed at was a complete official 
control of all education in India. Educated Indians 
read between the lines and concluded that it was a 
mistake to look to the Government to do things or 
to follow a policy which might quicken the national 
pulse, strengthen the Nationalist sentiment, or add 
to the efficiency of the people so as to fit them to 
stand on their legs and desire to get rid of the lead- 
ing strings in which they were held by the British. 

Indians and Lord Curzon at Cross Purposes. In- 
dians saw that they and Lord Curzon were at cross- 
purposes. They aimed at self-government and 
freedom; Lord Curzon aimed at prolongation of the 
period of their bondage and the permanence of the 
existing political conditions. We wanted independ- 
ence; he wanted us to be dependent on the British. 
We wanted to quicken the pace of national advance; 
he wanted to slacken it. We wanted to be assertive 
and self-reliant; he wanted us to be submissive and 
in permanent control and tutelage. We wanted to 
go forward, he mistrusted us. We wanted a policy 
of honest confidence; instead of that he inaugurated 
a policy of suspicion. We wanted unity, he pro- 
ceeded to bring into existence fresh causes of fric- 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 159 

tion between community and community. We 
wanted the marshalling of our forces in the com- 
mon cause, he proceeded to divide us and to keep 
us apart. We wanted consolidation, and he started 
active disintegration. We wanted an extension of 
representative government, Lord Curzon did his 
best to discredit the institutions that had been 
granted and to set back the hands of the clock. 

The Congress Deputation to England in 1905. 
The leaders of the Indian National Congress saw all 
this ; they resisted Lord Curzon's policy rather 
boldly; they spoke with courage; they sought his 
patronage and sent their president to wait on him. 
Lord Curzon refused to see him and thus slapped the 
Congress in the face. He characterised their activi- 
ties as the letting off of " gas." Their resolutions 
he looked upon with contempt because, as he said, 
nothing had ever come out of them. The leaders 
felt offended, they fretted and foamed. But all 
they resolved to do was to appeal to the British pub- 
lic. So a deputation was sent to England in 1905 
to place the grievances of India before the British 

This deputation was composed of Messrs. Gok- 
hale and the writer of this book. They addressed 
a large number of meetings in Great Britain, made 
many friends, saw some politicians; but they were 
not very hopeful as to the results. One of them on 
his return (the present writer) struck an unmistak- 
able note of despondency. He frankly told his peo- 
ple that the British democracy was too busy with 
their own affairs to do anything for them, that. the 


British press was not willing to champion Indian 
aspirations, that it was hard to get a hearing in 
England, and that the influence and the credit of the 
Anglo-Indians was too strong to be met successfully 
by- the necessarily inadequate agitation which the 
Congress could set up in England. On his return 
to India the message which he brought to his people 
was, that if they really cared for their country, they 
would have to strike the blow for freedom them- 
selves, and that they would have to furnish unmis- 
takable proofs of their earnestness. 

His message was in no way different from what 
Mr. Hume had told the graduates of the Calcutta 
University in 1883, or in his pamphlets "The Star 
in the East " and the " Old Man's Hope." 

The Congress of 1905. This was the first time 
that an Indian publicist had spoken in that strain. 
The szvadeshi and boycott had already been started 
in Bengal during his absence from India. Even Mr. 
Gokhale approved of the boycott as a political 
weapon. So the message which he brought fell on 
willing and sympathetic ears. The country was in 
a mood to listen to it, and it did listen. The Con- 
gress Session of 1905, held at Benares, 16 gave an op- 
portunity for comparing notes and for settling a 
programme. The reception accorded to Mr. Gok- 
hale and the rather uproarious meetings of the Sub- 
jects Committee afforded ample evidence of the 
temper of the people. Gokhale was cautious, care- 
ful, but enthusiastic. His presidential address was 

16 Presided over by the Honourable Mr. G. K. Gokhale, a 
member of the Viceroy's Council. 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 161 

inspiring, though strictly moderate. His Bombay 
friends, however, would not let him go sufficiently 
far. The very first night the Subjects Committee 
sat, it appeared that a split was inevitable and the 
proceedings could not be as unanimous and harmoni- 
ous as was customary. The old Congress leaders 
were accustomed to unanimity, but the younger 
generation soon convinced them that unanimity on 
the old lines was impossible. 

When the meeting of the Subjects Committee 
broke up after its deliberation on the first night, no 
unanimity had been reached with regard to a resolu- 
tion welcoming the visit of the Prince of Wales (the 
present King) to India. The dissentionists threat- 
ened to oppose it in the Congress. The reception 
committee and the older leaders were all furious, 
threatened all sorts of retributions, and predicted all 
sorts of evil consequences, but the younger men 
would not listen. The whole of the morning was 
spent in efforts to induce them to withdraw their 
opposition, but young Bengal refused to agree. 
The meeting was delayed ; Gokhale then made a per- 
sonal appeal to the Mahratta and the Punjab lead- 
ers, and they prevailed on their Bengalee friends to 
absent themselves from the meeting and let the reso- 
lution be passed in their absence. The resolution 
relating to Swadeshi, 17 boycott, and national educa- 
tion, again evoked lively discussion resulting in com- 
promise, wherein the principles for which the Na- 
tionalists stood were conceded. 

17 Swadeshi means the cult of home industries, i. e., the use 
of the articles made in the country. 


In the Congress camp, the younger generation had 
met in open conference to discuss their future pro- 
gramme. It was then that Mr. Tilak gave out the 
idea of passive resistance. No formal resolutions 
were passed, but the better mind of the people pres- 
ent decided to inaugurate an era of self-help and 
self-reliance based on an active boycott of govern- 
ment service and of the semi-government institu- 

Object of the Passive Resistance Movement. 
The object was two- fold. ( I ) . To destroy the hyp- 
notism that had caused the people and the country to 
have faith not only in the omnipotence of their rul- 
ers, but also in their altruism. In the words of one 
of the leaders of the Nationalist thought (Babu B. C. 
Pal, 18 " The Spirit of Indian Nationalism," page 
42), the people had been hypnotised to believe in the 
altruism of their foreign rulers : 

" Untrained in the crooked ways of civilised di- 
plomacy, they had believed what their rulers had 
said, either of themselves or of their subjects, as 
gospel truth. They had been told that the people of 
India were unfitted to manage their own affairs, and 
they believed it to be true. They had been told that 
the people were weak and the Government was 
strong. They had been told that India stood on a 
lower plane of humanity and England's mission was 
to civilise ' the semi-barbarous native.' The Na- 
tionalist school took it upon themselves to expose the 
hollowness of all these pretensions. They com- 
menced to make what are called counter-passes in 
18 An eminent Bengalee writer. 

Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 163 

hypnotism, and at once awoke the people to a sense 
of their own strength, an appreciation of their own 

In the second place, the object was to create a 
passionate love of liberty, accompanied by a spirit 
of sacrifice and readiness to suffer for the cause of 
the country. This was to be done more by example 
than precept. What the programme was may bet- 
ter be stated in the words of the leader whom we 
have quoted above : 

" Boycott both economic and political, boycott of 
foreign and especially British goods, and of all 
honorary associations with the administration, na- 
tional education implying a withdrawal of the 
youths of the nation from the officialised universi- 
ties and government-controlled schools and colleges, 
and training them up in institutions conducted on 
national lines subject to national control and calcu- 
lated to help the realisation of the national destiny, 
national civic volunteering, aiming at imparting a 
healthy civic training to the people by the voluntary 
assumption of as much of the civic duties, at present 
discharged by official or semi-official agencies, as 
could be done without any violation of the existing 
laws of the country, — duties, for instance, in regard 
to rural sanitation, economic and medical relief, 
popular education, preventive police duties, regula- 
tion of fair and pilgrim gathering, — settlement 
of civil and non-cognisable, criminal disputes by 
means of arbitration committees : — these were 
the proclaimed methods of the Nationalist 


As to the objects of this scheme, we will again 
quote the same writer : 

" The evident object was to create in the first place 
a strong civic sentiment in the people with the help 
of co-operative organisations for the furtherance of 
the common good, and thus to train them gradually 
for the larger and heavier responsibilities of free 
citizenship, and in the next place, to cover the whole 
country with a net-work of active, political organisa- 
tions which would place the leaders in direct and liv- 
ing touch with the people, and enable them to bring, 
from time to time, the irresistible pressure of or- 
ganised public opinion to bear upon the Government, 
helping thereby the gradual expansion of popular 

Now it should be noted here in passing, that with 
the exception of boycott and volunteering, every 
other item in the above propaganda had been more 
or less tried and with varying success in all parts of 
the country, but more particularly in the Punjab and 
Maharashtra before this. The Deccan education 
Society and the Poona Fergusson College were the 
offshoots of the desire to further the cause of educa- 
tion by self-imposed sacrifices, with the underlying 
motives of quickening the patriotic impulse and the 
Nationalist spirit. Similarly Swadeshi, co-operative 
organisations, and private arbitration courts had 
been thought of and tried. The motives underlying 
these attempts were absolutely patriotic, combining 
an element of philanthropy in them. The private 
colleges in Bengal, started by Vidyasagar and others, 
were also due to the same impulse, and so was the 

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905 165 

Pachaipiya College at Madras. Bombay had its 
own schemes and was ahead of the rest of India in 
purely Indian industrial and trade organisations. 
Similarly in the Punjab the idea of swadeshi had 
been started as early as 1877. The motives were 
economic and patriotic. The idea of national edu- 
cation had found expression in the D. A. V. 
(Dayanand Anglo-Vedic) College, and that of na- 
tional co-operative organisations in the " Punjab 
National Bank," the " Bharat Insurance Company " 
and other joint stock concerns. Religious and 
philanthropic motives had brought into existence the 
Hindu orphan movement, the famine relief move- 
ment, and so on. A little volunteering had also been 
attempted in connection with the famine relief move- 
ment and the Kangra earthquake relief movement. 
Long before 1905, the Punjab had a network of 
privately organised, privately financed, unaided 
schools and other charitable institutions, over which 
the Government had little effective control. Patriot- 
ism and philanthropy were the underlying motives 
of these institutions, but not politics. 1 ® 

The ruling bureaucracy did not quite like these 
activities, but they could not suppress them. Indi- 
vidual officers sometimes sympathised and even 
helped these movements. So far Bengal had been 
rather backward in the matter of national develop- 
ment on these lines. So, when Lord Curzon pro- 
claimed the partition of Bengal, attacked the 

19 Moreover the keynote of these organisations was associa- 
tion and co-operation with Government, and not independent 


veracity of the orientals in his Calcutta University 
convocation speech, and on other occasions called 
them cowards, windbags, unpractical talkers, and 
mere frothy patriots, the Bengalees awoke to a con- 
sciousness of their weaknesses, and resolved to re- 
venge themselves upon Lord Curzon, and prove to 
the world at large that Lord Curzon was a liar. 
What followed may be briefly stated in a separate 



Partition of Bengal. It was on the 16th of Oc- 
tober, 1905, that the old Province of Bengal was 
partitioned by Lord Curzon. On that day " immense 
numbers of people in the two divisions of the par- 
titioned province abstained from lighting their 
kitchen fire, went about barefooted, performed 
ceremonial baths in rivers or sacred tanks, 1 and tied 
on one another's wrist the sacred rakhi, a piece of 
silk or cotton thread, as a symbol of fraternal or na- 
tional unity." On the 7th of August, 1905, the 
leaders of Bengal, in public meeting assembled, in 
the Calcutta Town Hall, under the presidency of 
Maharaja Mannidra Chandra Nundy of Cossim- 
bazar, 2 had already declared " a general boycott of 
British goods as a practical protest against the pro- 
posed partition." 

Boycott of British Goods. The original idea was 
to resort to boycott as a temporary measure, and 
therefore in the pledges drawn up in the early days, 
a time limit was put in. The boycott was to last 
until " the partition was withdrawn." In the words 

1 These are signs of mourning in India. 

2 An eminent nobleman and landlord of Bengal. 



of a Bengalee politician, the idea was to cause pe- 
cuniary loss to the British manufacturer and thus 
enlist his sympathy and help for the purpose of get- 
ting the measure cancelled. But it was soon dis- 
covered that the boycott might be an effective 
economic weapon, to be used as a measure of protec- 
tion against the economic exploitation of the coun- 
try by the foreigner. 

To quote the same writer, " The pledges sent 
from Calcutta came back, duly signed by large 
numbers of people, but with the conditional sen- 
tence, ' until Partition is withdrawn,' scored 
through. The boycott was a great success for some 
time. ' The Lucky Day ' of October, 1905, on 
which generally a very large number of forward 
contracts in Manchester goods are made at Calcutta, 
passed without any business being done. Simul- 
taneously with this decline in foreign goods, many 
indigenous industries began to revive. There was a 
boom in handlooms all over India. Provinces out- 
side of Bengal did not adopt a policy of active boy- 
cott, but the cry of Swadeshi 3 was taken up by all 
the country, whereby a great impetus was given to 
indigenous manufacturers. The significance of the 
movement in Bengal, where it was rigorously pur- 
sued, lay in the fact that prince and peasant, capitalist 
and labourer, literate and illiterate, educated and un- 
educated, all joined hands." For some time the 
boycott was so effective that The Englishman, an 
Anglo-Indian newspaper published in Calcutta, de- 
clared : " It is absolutely true that Calcutta ware- 

3 India made goods. 


houses are full of fabrics that can not be sold. In 
the earlier days of the boycott it was the fashion to 
assert that depression in piece goods trade was due 
to this or the other economic cause. 

" Many prominent Marwari 4 Firms have been 
absolutely ruined and a number of the biggest Eu- 
ropean import houses have had either to close down 
their piece goods branch or to put up with a very 
small business, where they previously had a large 
one. As for stocks in warehouses, they tend to 
grow larger, as Marwari and Indian buyers who had 
given forward orders, now state that they can not 
afford to take delivery. These facts are now so 
well known that it is idle to attempt to hide them. 
Indeed the time has come when all injuries inflicted 
on trade by boycott should be made fully known. 
There is no question of encouraging the boy cotters, 
as they need no encouragement. But there is the 
question of thoroughly awakening the public at home 
and the Government of India to the fact that in boy- 
cott the enemies of the Raj have found a most ef- 
fective weapon for injuring British interests in the 

The triumph of the boycotters was testified to by 
the following remarks of The Englishman, with 
which the article ended : " The question however 
is, what is the Government going to do about it? 
Boycott must not be acquiesced in, or it will more 
surely ruin British connection zvith India than an 
armed revolution." [The italics are ours.] 

4 Wholesale piece goods merchants belonging to Upper India 
are known in Calcutta by that name. 


Government's Reply. In reply to this move on 
the part of the Bengalee leaders, — a move in which 
all Bengal was united, including the present mod- 
erates, — the Government started a crusade against 
the students whom the boycotters had enlisted in 
their service. The bureaucracy thought that the 
more active part of the propaganda was carried on 
by them. According to Mr. B. C. Pal, " the success 
of the boycott, especially in the earlier stages before 
the sentiment had time to settle down into the con- 
science and consciousness of the people, depended 
almost entirely upon picketing." Mr. Pal assures 
us that " their method was uniformly intellectual 
and moral," and that " there was no intimidation, 
no violence, no appeal to physical fear, none of the 
things that characterise picketing among the ro- 
buster people of the West." 

The British, of course, do not accept this state- 
ment as true. But whatever its nature, the Govern- 
ment did not like picketing. They thought they 
could not stand by and let a movement of that kind 
gain strength. " Their first move was to make it 
penal for the young student population to participate 
in any way in the nationalist activities. Students 
who attended public meetings were threatened with 
various punishments to the extent even of expulsion 
from school, college, or university." 

The Second Move of the Bengalees: The Na- 
tional University. The Bengalee leaders then put 
their heads together and resolved to start a National 
University, wherein education would be given inde- 
pendent of government control. The educational 


policy of Lord Curzon had already set people to 
thinking along that line. The measures now 
adopted to strike at the boycott movement by punish- 
ing the students who participated therein " accentu- 
ated the need and called forth actual measures to 
meet it." This movement also, like the boycott, met 
the universal support of United Bengal. The 
actual leadership of it fell on Sir Gurdas Bannerjea, 
late Judge of the Calcutta High Court, who had been 
vice-chancellor of the Calcutta University for some 
time and whose loyalty and moderation had never 
been questioned by friend or foe. Besides, he had 
sat on the University Commission appointed by 
Lord Curzon and had written a note of dissent from 
the policy recommended by the majority of its mem- 
bers. " Under his guidance, the Bengal Council of 
National Education proposed to work, independent 
of, but by no means in opposition to, the Govern- 
ment Education Department. And this independent 
activity was justified on the ground that the educa- 
tion hitherto imparted under official supervision 
lacked a vital reference to the thoughts, the senti- 
ments, the traditions, the religions, and even the 
outer physical and biological environments of the 
people. The object of the new movement was to 
organise a thoroughly national system of education, 
both scientific and literary, as well as technical, on 
national lines and under national control." 

Besides making an ample provision for literary, 
scientific, and technical education, the National 
Council of Education at once reduced English to the 
status of a secondary language, the first place being 


given to Bengalee and Sanskrit, and in the case of 
Mohammedans to Urdu, Persian, and Arabic. 

The National Education Movement in Bengal was 
in no way an anti-government movement. Though 
it owed its " initiation to the threats of the Govern- 
ment to close the doors of the official schools and 
colleges and universities against those who would 
take any part in, even to the extent of simply at- 
tending, any political meeting or demonstration, the 
National Education Movement in Bengal sought to 
avoid all open causes of friction with the authorities 
and proposed to work independent of, but not in op- 
position to, the Government. Political in its origin, 
it tried to avoid all conflicts with the authorities by 
assuming an absolutely non-political attitude." 

Arabinda Ghosh. To this movement, Indian Na- 
tionalism owes the emerging into prominence of a 
quiet, unostentatious, young Hindu, who was till 
then comparatively obscure, holding his soul in pa- 
tience and waiting for opportunities to send currents 
of the greatest strength into the nation's system. 
He was gathering energy. His name was Arabinda 
Ghosh. Arabinda had received first class education 
in England. The headmaster of the school, where 
he studied before joining the university, is reported 
to have said that during the 25 to 30 years he had 
been in charge of the school, Arabinda Ghosh was 
by far the most richly endowed in intellectual capac- 
ity of any of the students that had come under his 

At Cambridge he distinguished himself in Eu- 
ropean classics and took first class honours. He 

Arabinda Ghosh 


passed the Indian Civil Service examinations with 
credit, but failed in the test for horsemanship. 
Never did a failure prove more a blessing than in 
his case. 

He was in the service of His Highness, the Maha- 
raja of Baroda, 5 drawing a salary of about 500 
pounds sterling, when his country's call came to him. 
He listened to it readily, gave up his post and agreed 
to be the principal of the National College on ten 
pounds a month. We are told by one who worked 
with him for some time that he did not support the 
" declaration of the National Council of Education " 
about their non-political attitude. He could not ap- 
preciate this needless dread, as they thought, of 
offending official susceptibilities. He, however, ac- 
cepted the verdict of the majority and began his 
work. But his position as " the nominal head of 
the National College, controlled by men " who " dif- 
fered from him in their political views and opinions, 
became almost from the very beginning anomalous." 
This was rather unfortunate. Arabinda Ghosh had 
received the best modern education that any man of 
his country and generation could expect to have. 
He had for some years been a teacher of youth in 
Baroda and had acquired considerable experience in 
his art. He had clearly realised the spirit and actu- 
alities of the life of his nation, and knew how the 
most advanced principles of pedagogy could be suc- 
cessfully worked into a thoroughly national system 
of education in India. He knew that the founda- 
tions of national independence and national great- 
6 A ruling chief in the Bombay Presidency. 


ness must be laid in a strong and advanced system 
of national education. He had a political ideal, no 
doubt ; but politics meant to him much more than is 
ordinarily understood by the term. It was not a 
game of expediency, but a " school of human char- 
acter " which acted and reacted on the life of the 
nation. " Education could no more be divorced 
from politics," in his opinion, " than it could be di- 
vorced from religion and morals. Any system of 
education that helps such isolation and division be- 
tween the various organic relations of life is medi- 
aeval and not modern." 6 

The monied leaders of the National Council of 
Education movement, however, could not accept 
Arabinda's principles. " They were not free from 
the fear of possible official opposition, which, if once 
aroused, would make their work, they thought, abso- 
lutely impossible. They had a real dread of the 
bureaucracy " whom they were not prepared to defy. 
Experience has shown that they were quite mistaken 
if they thought they could develop their scheme of 
education without rousing the fears and the bitterest 
opposition of the bureaucracy, even after declaring 
the non-political character of their scheme. 

Never before in the history of the human race 
was it so well realised as now that the school is the 
nursery of the man and the citizen. Lord Curzon 
realised it in full and it was his aim to curtail or, if 
possible, crush the nationalist influences in the 

6 In my opinion there has never been any time in human 
history when religion and morals were successfully divorced 
from politics, either in Ancient India or anywhere else. 


schools and colleges managed and conducted by In- 
dian agencies. It was his desire to introduce the 
English element in all these institutions and to put 
them under English control. He had invited Eu- 
ropean missionaries to the Secret Educational Con- 
ference at Simla, but not a single Indian, Hindu or 
Mohammedan. He could not trust them (i. e., the 
Indians) with his ideas. Hence the need of secrecy. 
The National Council of Education was supposed to 
be working against the spirit of his policy. He was 
gone, but the bureaucracy who were identified with 
his wishes, views and schemes, were there. It was 
impossible that they would let the Bengalees, who- 
ever they might be, build up a system of education 
and a network of educational institutions, that not 
only would owe nothing to the Government but were 
also to be quite free of official or English control 
and of English influence. 

Then, the very circumstances under which the Na- 
tional College was born and the National Schools 
affiliated to it were opened, gave them a political 
character. The Government and the bureaucracy 
were opposed to the students taking any part in the 
boycott movement; the Bengalee leaders wanted 
them to do so, and hence the National College and 
the National Schools. It was an open challenge — 
a revolt. Arabinda Ghosh was identified with this 
revolt, and with him were associated a whole group 
of powerful writers and speakers, all men of high 
individuality and lofty ideals and of pure character. 
They accepted the decision of the majority about the 
non-political character of the college, but no one 


could deprive them of the use of their pen and 
tongue. Any attempt to do that might have been 
fatal to the scheme. They started journals and 
preached the gospel of political and economic and 
educational independence in the clearest language. 
They were all men of education and knew their 
history well. They fully realised what the conse- 
quences were likely to be, and they were prepared 
for it. They were prepared to suffer for their 
propaganda, but they were not yet prepared for vio- 

The Nationalist Press. They started a number of 
papers in Bengalee and also in English, in which 
they gave their ideas to the people. The Sandhya 
and the Bande Malayan, as two of the new papers 
were called, became their classrooms. In a few 
months the face and the spirit of Bengal was 
changed. The press, the pulpit, the platform, the 
writers of prose and poetry, composers of music and 
playwrights, all were filled with the spirit of nation- 
alism. Bande Mataram (Hail Motherland) was 
the cry of the day. It was chanted in schools, in 
colleges, in streets, in houses, in public squares, al- 
most everywhere. Even the government offices and 
the compounds of the private residences of Eu- 
ropean officials resounded with it. 

Sabhas and Samitis and Akharas 7 leaped into ex- 
istence by hundreds, where the Bengalee young men 
began to take lessons in fencing and other games. 
This was their reply to those who taunted them as 
cowards; for the famous, or rather infamous, re- 

7 Societies, Associations and Gymnasiums. 


marks of Macaulay about Bengalees were often 
hurled at their heads by the Anglo-Indians, or new 
language was used to express the same thoughts. 

The boycott had created an unheard of situation 
in some of the districts in Eastern Bengal. In one 
district — Barisal — the Superintendent of Police 
and the Collector had both failed to be able to buy 
a piece of Manchester shirting for one of their 
friends, as no trader would sell it except by per- 
mission of the gentleman who was the leader of the 
boycotters. This leader happened to be a man who 
had made his influence by his character and by 
service. He was, so to say, the uncrowned king of 
his district. That was a crusher to the bureaucracy. 
No foreign bureaucracy could tolerate it. Sir 
William Bamfylde Fuller, on whom had fallen the 
first Lieutenant Governorship of Eastern Bengal, 
was bewildered by the strength of the movement and 
the new character which the Bengalees were de- 
veloping. The people refused to show him the 
customary honours. Even the presence of the Lieu- 
tenant Governor in the town did not prevent the 
people from giving ovations to anti-partition propa- 
gandists and making anti-partition demonstrations. 
At one place it is said that even the railway porters 
refused to touch his baggage, which had to be car- 
ried by police constables. This was more than he 
could bear. 

Military Measures against Boycotters. After 
consultation with Lord Curzon, he resolved to use 
force. The first step taken was the despatch of a 
hundred Gurkha troops to Barisal, followed by a 


demand for the withdrawal of a circular issued by 
the local leaders advising the people of the legality 
of a peaceful boycott of British goods. It was evi- 
dent that a refusal meant a physical conflict, which 
the leaders were yet anxious to avoid. So the lead- 
ers decided to withdraw and the governor was 
mollified. The Gurkhas are said to have commit- 
ted numerous outrages on the people, but the lead- 
ers kept the latter under control, as they did not 
want the Government to get a handle to crush the 
movement by force. 

In April, 1906, the Provincial Conference, which 
was attended by the most prominent leaders of the 
two Bengals, was broken up by order of the Magis- 
trate " almost at the point of the bayonet." A 
procession of some 800 or 900 delegates from the 
different districts of the two provinces, " including 
almost every prominent leader in the country, was 
dispersed by the police, who made a free use of 
their quarterstaffs and broke more than one head 
under the very eyes of the District Superintendent 
of Police." The people, however, did not retaliate. 
So far, they were determined not to use force even 
against force. With every display of force on the 
side of the Government, the nationalist movement 
gained ground in popularity and in strength, until 
the masses, the women and children, all were satu- 
rated with it. 

This was the birth of a new life in Bengal, which 
found its reflection in every phase of public activ- 
ity, religious, social, economic, educational, or po- 
litical. What was done in Bengal found its echo 


in the rest of the country. So far the Nationalist 
party was united. The elder people, who had been 
born and bred and had lived in a different atmos- 
phere, were not in full accord with the younger 
party and remonstrated with the latter, when they 
indulged in intemperate language. Some people in 
other provinces did not quite approve of the whole- 
sale boycott, inaugurated and declared by the Ben- 
galees, but otherwise the nation was united, and the 
best mind of the nation was rather gratified at the 
turn things had taken. 

Lord Minto. With the advent of Lord Minto 
(in 1905), however, things began to assume a dif- 
ferent shape. The first serious difference in the 
Nationalist party occurred over the presidentship 
of the Indian National Congress at Calcutta in 
1906, but an actual split was avoided by a clever 
and diplomatic move of the leaders of the new 
moderate party, who obtained the consent of Mr. 
Dadabhai Naoroji 8 to accept the presidentship, if 
offered to him. The Congress session of 1906 was 
rather an uproarious session, but eventually the 
spirit of compromise and conciliation prevailed and 
the so-called extremists practically gained all their 
points so far as the principle of them was concerned. 

But it was clear, even to a superficial observer, 
that a split was inevitable; Lord Minto had suc- 
ceeded Lord Curzon as Viceroy, and a visible 
change was coming in the policy of the Government. 
Lord Curzon was for a policy of repression ; Minto 

8 A leader universally respected and loved by all classes of 
people throughout India. See frontispiece. 


inaugurated a reign of conciliation with repression. 
The movement might have succumbed if the Gov- 
ernment had been courageous enough to annul or 
modify the Partition of Bengal, as they subse- 
quently did in 19 12. But that was not to be. On 
that point the Government would not yield, though 
otherwise they were in favour of making conces- 

Indian Press Gagged. The years 1905, 1906, and 
1907 were years of passive resistance. The nation- 
alists indulged in strong language, carried on a 
vigorous anti-British propaganda by means of the 
press and the platform, used their pen and tongue 
rather freely, but did not think of using force. 
Editor after editor, and publisher after publisher 
was sent to prison without any diminution of the 
campaign. The years 1906 and 1907 saw a regu- 
lar " tug of war " between the Government on the 
one side and the nationalists on the other. A large 
number of prosecutions were launched against the 
members of the press in Bengal and Bombay, Pun- 
jab and the United Provinces, Madras and the Cen- 
tral Provinces, and many persons were sentenced 
to long terms of imprisonment. A complete boy- 
cott, economic, political and social, was openly 
preached, and picketing was again resorted to. 
Some of the judicial trials were only farcical, the 
judges being influenced by political considerations, 
and convictions and sentences being foregone con- 
clusions. Yet such was the people's regard for 
law, that so long as the procedure of an open trial 
was not attacked, they did not think of employing 

From a painting by Mrs. Richer, Berkeley, Cal. 

La j pat Rai 


force for purposes of revenge. Even ill-treatment, 
either in lock-ups, during trial, or in prisons, after 
conviction, failed to incite the people to force. Po- 
litical prisoners were applauded, glorified, and 
otherwise supported and backed, but no thought of 
revenge entered anybody's head. 

Deportation of Lajpat Rai. The sudden depor- 
tation of Lajpat Rai, however, in May, 1907, 
changed the whole current of thought and action. 
The nationalists concluded that the movement for 
passive resistance required to be supported by secret 
propaganda as well as the use of force against force. 
In the words of the Honourable Mr. G. K. Gokhale, 
in a speech delivered in the Council of the Governor 
General after the deportation of Lajpat Rai, the 
latter was a religious, social, and educational re- 
former and was loved and respected by large classes 
of his countrymen all over the country. He was 
one of the persons whom the extreme Nationalists 
claimed as their own, whom the moderate Nation- 
alists also respected, and whom the populace " liked 
for his philanthropic and educational activities." 
The sudden capture of this man, without trial, with- 
out charge, and without notice, drove the young 
Nationalists to frenzy. 9 Even the sober and the 
thoughtful among the Nationalists were in despair. 

The Anglo-Indian press all over the country, 
however, was in jubilation. The leading semi- 
official daily published at Lahore, the headquarters 

9 See Mr. H. W. Nevinson's New Spirit in India, p. 295 ; 
also pp. 133, 233, etc.; see also Mr. J. Ramsay Macdonald's 
Awakening of India. 


of Lajpat Rai, described him as the leader of a 
deep-laid revolutionary movement, every detail of 
which passed through his fingers. He was said to 
have a following of " 100,000 desperadoes." The 
Englishman, at Calcutta, charged him with having 
tampered with the loyalty of the Indian army, and 
having incited the King of Afghanistan to invade 
India. As a result of adding, as they did, insult to 
the injury of deportation, the country was ablaze 
with indignation. The step was condemned by the 
unanimous voice of the people. All differences of 
opinion were forgotten and the whole country 
joined in protest. The extreme wing of the nation- 
alists, however, decided to take the next step. They 
decided to use force and began to think of bomb 
and revolver and of a guerilla warfare against the 
established despotism. The older people, though 
they sympathised, would not agree to take any part 
in the movement using physical force, nor would 
they give their sanction to such a course. 

It is possible that some sort of secret organisation 
existed in Bengal in 1906, but force did not enter 
into their programme till after May, 1907, i. e., until 
after the deportation of Lajpat Rai. The deporta- 
tion decided them. Yet the first shot was not fired 
until December, 1907, and the first bomb was not 
thrown until April or May, 1908. The split 10 at 
Surat in December, 1907, irrevocably divided the 
Nationalists into two parties, and confirmed the 
younger party in their programme of force. The 

10 For an account of this split see H. W. Nevinson's New 
Spirit in India, Chap. XIII. 


extremists saw the hand of the Government in the 
split. Within a few months almost all the leaders 
were seized and thrown into prison. At Surat, 
Lajpat Rai, having thrown in his lot with the mod- 
erates, was for a time left alone, but Bal Ganga 
Dhar Tilak, the Mahratta leader, was prosecuted 
and sentenced to six years' transportation. Ara- 
binda Ghosh was also seized and prosecuted for 
conspiracy to wage war against the King, though he 
was afterwards acquitted for want of evidence. 
Bepin Chandra Pal was also seized and sentenced 
to six months' imprisonment; Chidambaran Pillai, 
a Madras leader, to six years ; a Mohammedan leader 
of the United Provinces, Abul Hasan Hasrat Mo- 
hani, to one year. In December, 1908, nine of the 
Bengal leaders were seized in their homes and im- 
prisoned by an administrative order without trial 
and without charge. 

Disaffection Driven Underground. These perse- 
cutions and sentences exasperated the younger party 
and drove disaffection underground. Undaunted 
by the loss of leaders, they continued their propa- 
ganda and made several attempts on the lives of 
high officials. The life of the Lieutenant Governor 
of Bengal was attempted no less than three times, 
once in open daylight, when he was presiding at a 
certain state function. The life of the viceroy, 
Lord Minto, was also attempted, at Ahmedabad. 
The political secretary of Lord Morley, then Secre- 
tary of State, was shot in London; a collector was 
murdered at Nasik, and many other " outrages " 
were committed. Publications suppressed and con- 


demned were published and circulated secretly ; arms 
were smuggled and stolen ; and attempts were made 
to wreck railways and otherwise terrorise the 
Government. Throughout the year 1908 and 1909 
the movement was kept up at high pressure. Then 
in 19 10 there was a comparative lull, though the 
revolutionary activities did come up to the surface 

The year 191 1 was perhaps the dullest year from 
the revolutionary point of view. That was the year 
of the King's visit to India. The King modified 
the Partition of Bengal and ordered the transfer of 
the capital to Delhi. For a time there was a great 
rejoicing in the country, not so much because the 
Partition had been annulled, but because it was a 
virtual triumph of the Nationalist agitation. 

Lord Hardinge Bombed. In December, 1912, 
again, the revolutionary party gave conclusive evi- 
dence of their existence and strength. A bomb was 
thrown at Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy, when he 
was passing in procession midst thousands of troops 
and hundreds of thousands of spectators, making 
his first state entry into the new capital of British 
India, the Delhi of the Moguls. Lord Hardinge 
was wounded, members of his entourage killed and 
the procession broken up. The culprit escaped, and 
in spite of offers of huge rewards 1X and unprece- 
dented police activity has remained undetected 
up to the present time. This is considered to be 

11 A reward of one hundred thousand Rupees equal to 33,000 
dollars was offered for information leading to the arrest of the 
culprit or culprits. 


the supreme achievement of the revolutionaries. 
Throughout 191 3 and 19 14 the revolutionaries were 
active, and the scanty news that has filtered out 
from India during the war gives ample reason to 
think that they are very active now. 

Within the last seven or eight years, the Govern- 
ment has tried every form of repression, and has 
also planned a programme of partial reconciliation, 
but they have so far failed to crush the extreme 
wing of the Nationalist party, the wing that believes 
in force and that has taken to all the methods of 
guerilla warfare against a foreign government 
based on force. 

The country is in such circumstances now that 
every step which the Government takes to repress 
and crush the movement or to punish the offenders, 
strengthens the spirit of revolt, adds to the volume 
and intensity of the desire for revenge, adds to the 
number of those who are prepared to suffer or even 
die for the cause. From the classes, the movement 
has spread to the masses; from the non-fighting 
masses it is now gaining ground and winning adher- 
ents among the fighting classes. In 1907 the charge 
of tampering with the army, laid at the door of 
Lajpat Rai, was ridiculous. Perhaps there was a 
certain amount of disaffection among the Punjab 
regiments due to the Agrarian legislation under- 
taken by the Punjab Government, which deeply and 
detrimentally affected the classes from which the 
army was recruited. When the legislation objected 
to was vetoed, that cause of disaffection was re- 
moved; but since then fresh causes have affected 


at least certain sections of the army also, so that it 
cannot be said that the whole army is free from 
disaffection. The riot at Singapore, caused by the 
revolt of one of the Indian regiments stationed 
there, and certain happenings in the Punjab, amply 
prove this. 



We will now see how many types of Nationalists 
there are in India. From what follows in the chap- 
ter, the reader should not conclude that the Indian 
Nationalists are disunited. So far as the goal is 
concerned there is practical unanimity in all ranks. 
Even those who stand for complete independence 
would be glad to have self-government within the 
Empire, if that were promised in the near future. 
As to methods, there is the usual cleavage to be 
found in all struggles for freedom in all countries. 
One party stands for the use of physical force, the 
other for peaceful means. The Indian National- 
ists, too, are divided into two parties, the physical 
force party and the moderate party. The follow- 
ing account of the types is intended to show the 
different lines of their thinking. Complete unanim- 
ity in principles and methods can only be expected 
of a collection of machine-made clogs of wood. 

The Extremists. ( I ) To take up the extremists 
first: There are some who do not recognise the 
British Government at all. They think that the 
Government of the British in India is founded on 
force and fraud. They have therefore no scruples 



to use force as well as fraud against the Govern- 
ment. In their eyes every one who is helping the 
Government in India either by accepting their serv- 
ice or otherwise by willing co-operation, abets the 
crime of which the Britishers are guilty. They do 
not recognise British laws nor their courts. They 
have no respect or use for either. They believe that 
their nationalism gives them the right of removing 
everyone who stands in the way of their propaganda, 
whether by force or fraud. In their heart of hearts 
they are against every one who supports the British 
Government in India, but in the prosecution of their 
object they do not desire to strike at all of them. 
But if need be they are prepared to strike at any one. 
They have declared war against the British Govern- 
ment. Their leaders have assumed the right of 
passing sentences against those who are of the 
enemy. They judge and deal severely with those 
whom they think guilty of treason against them. 
They also consider themselves entitled to collect 
taxes as they call them, and make impositions on 
people in India. Acting on the principle that the 
safety of the state is the first consideration for all 
those who form the state, and that in case of neces- 
sity the state has a right to use the property of 
every private individual who is included in the body 
politic, they are prepared to exact their impositions 
by force. The fact that the British Government is 
the enemy against whom they have declared war, 
gives them the right to loot British treasuries and in- 
jure their property wherever and whenever they can. 
The other principle stated above justifies in their 


eyes the taking by force of the property or wealth of 
those who would not give it willingly or voluntarily 
for the safety of the state as conceived by them. 
Hence the " dacoities." 

A few Nihilists. The men engaged in those 
dacoities are of two kinds : There are those who 
have no moral or religious scruples. They are " ni- 
hilists." But their number is exceedingly small. 
They are not immoral people. For their own self 
or for private persons, they would not do anything 
which in any way contravenes the prevailing code of 
morality; they would neither steal nor rob, nor kill 
nor injure any person. But for the purpose of their 
movement they would do anything. Their number 
however is, as we said above, exceedingly small. 
Then there are those who are extremely religious 
and spiritual. Some of them are the followers of 
the " Kali " l cult as it is understood in Bengal ; 
others are Vedantists. There are some who are 
deists or theists. 

Religions Extremists. In every case, however, 
they believe that the British are the enemies of their 
•Motherland and also of their religion. They would 
not touch one hair of any one simply because that 
person belonged to a religion different from theirs; 
but they would not scruple to kill any one who inter- 
feres with their religion. They believe that they 
owe their lives to the Motherland, whom they wor- 
ship as the means of enabling them to be worthy of 
the worship of the Supreme Mother of the Universe. 

1 Name of a religious sect. See Pratts' India and Its Faiths, 
p. 13- 


We will once more quote Mr. Pal 2 to explain what 
we mean, or rather how he puts the idea : 

The Mother Worshippers. " The so-called idol- 
atry of Hinduism," he says, " is also passing through 
a mighty transfiguration. The process started 
really with Bankim Chandra, 3 who interpreted the 
most popular of the Hindu goddesses as symbolic 
of the different stages of national evolution. 
Jagatdhatri — riding a lion which has the prostrate 
body of an elephant under its paw, represented the 
motherland in the early jungle-clearing stage. This 
is, says Bankim Chandra, the mother as she was. 
Kali, the grim goddess, dark and naked, bearing a 
garland of human heads around her neck, — heads 
from which blood is dripping, — and dancing on the 
prostrate form of Shiva, the God — this, says Ban- 
kim Chandra, is the mother as she is, dark, because 
ignorant of herself; the heads with dripping blood 
are those of her own children, destroyed by famine 
and pestilence; the jackals 4 licking these drippings 
are the symbol of desolation and decadence of social 
life, and the prostrate form of Shiva means that she 
is trampling her own God under her feet. Durga, 
the ten-headed goddess, armed with swords and 
spears in some hands, holding wheat-sheaves in 
some, offering courage and peace with others, riding 
a lion, fighting with demons ; with Sarasvati, or the 
goddess of Knowledge and Arts, supported by 

2 The Spirit of Indian Nationalism, by Mr. B. C. Pal. p. 36. 

3 A great Bengalee writer of fiction who composed the well- 
known nationalist song, " Bande Matajam " or Hail Mother- 

4 Or the foreign exploiters. 


Ganapati, the god of Wisdom, on her one side, and 
Lakshmi, the goddess of Wealth, protected by Karti- 
keya, the leader of the Heavenly army, on the other 
side — this, says Bankim Chandra, is the mother as 
she will be. This interpretation of the old images 
of gods and goddesses has imparted a new meaning 
to the current ceremonialism of the country, and 
multitudes, while worshipping either Jagatdhatri, or 
Kali, or Durga, accost them with devotion and en- 
thusiasm, with the inspiring cry of Bande Mataram. 
All these are the popular objects of worship of the 
Indian Hindus, especially in Bengal. And the trans- 
figuration of these symbols is at once the cause and 
the evidence of the depth and the strength of the 
present movement. This wonderful transfiguration 
of the old gods and goddesses is carrying the mes- 
sage of new nationalism to the women and the 
masses of the country." 

Vedantists. " Behind this mighty transfiguration 
of the old religious ideas and symbols of the country 
stands, however, a new philosophy of life. Strictly 
speaking, it is not a new philosophy either, but rather 
a somewhat new application of the dominant philo- 
sophical speculations of the race. Behind the new 
nationalism in India stands the old Vedantism of 
the Hindus. This ancient Indian philosophy, di- 
vided into many schools, has one general idea run- 
ning through it from end to end. It is the idea of 
the essential unity of man and God. According to 
this philosophy, Substance is one though expressed 
through many forms. Reality is one though ap- 
pearances are multitudinous. Matter, in the eye of 


this philosophy, is not material, but essentially spir- 
itual, the thought of God concretised. Man is the 
spirit of God incarnated. The meaning of cosmic 
evolution is to be found, not in itself, but in the 
thought of the Absolute. It is, to adopt the Hegel- 
ian dictum, the movement of the Self away from 
itself, to return to itself, to be itself. The Absolute, 
or Brahman, is the beginning, the middle, and the 
end of this evolutionary process. He is the Regu- 
lative idea. He is cosmic evolution. He is pro- 
gressively revealing himself through the world 
process. In man, the Divine idea, or the Logos, 
comes slowly to consciousness of itself. The end 
of human evolution is the fullest realisation of man's 
unity with God. Long, especially in what may be 
called the middle ages in India, this essential unity 
between God and man was sought to be realised 
through metaphysical abstractions, by negation of 
the social and civic life. There was an undue em- 
phasis on the Subjective and the Universal to the 
neglect of the realities (however relative they might 
be) of the Objective and the Particular. Protests 
had, however, been made from time to time against 
these monkish abstractions, but in spite of these ab- 
stractions the dominant note continued to be that of 
Abstract Monism. Neo-Vedantism, which forms 
the very soul and essence of what may be called Neo- 
Hinduism, has been seeking to realise the old 
spiritual ideals of the race, not through monkish 
negations or mediaeval abstractions, but by the 
idealisation and the spiritualisation of the concrete 
contents and actual relations of life. It demands, 


consequently, a social, an economic, and a political 
reconstruction, such as will be helpful to the highest 
spiritual life of every individual member of the com- 
munity. The spiritual note of the present National- 
ist Movement in India is entirely derived from this 
Vedantic thought. 

" Under the influence of this Neo-Vedantism, as- 
sociated to a large extent with the name of the late 
Swami Vivekananda, there has been at work a slow 
and silent process of the liberalisation of the old 
social ideas. The old bigotry that anathematised 
the least deviation from the rules of caste, or the 
authority of custom, is openly giving way to a spirit 
of new tolerance. The imperious necessities of na- 
tional struggle and national life are slowly breaking 
down, except in purely ceremonial affairs, the old 
restrictions of caste. In the new movement, old and 
orthodox Brahmins are rendering open obeisance 
to the heterodox and non-Brahmin teachers. There 
is an evident anxiety to discover spiritual and tra- 
ditional authority for even the outrages that some of 
these have committed against the old social and 
sacerdotal order. And where no such authority 
could be found, their personal freedom of thought 
and action is being condoned on the principle that 
those who are to be the saviours of their nation 
stand, like the mendicant and the holy man, above 
all law. And all this is a proof of the strange hold 
that the new nationalist propaganda has got on the 
real mind and soul of the people." 

To these two classes, the Mother worshippers, 
and the Vedantists, belong the great bulk of the Ben- 


gal Nationalists. They are neither " nihilists " nor 
" anarchists." They are patriots who have raised 
their patriotism to the pitch of a religion. Their re- 
ligion remarkably fits in with their patriotism and 
makes the latter indescribably intense and alive. 
Their whole life is permeated with it. They realise 
their " duty " every moment of their life and they 
are prepared to do anything and take any and every 
risk in the performance of that duty. They live on 
little; their food is abstemious; they scrupulously 
avoid liquor; they clothe themselves scantily; lux- 
ury they do not know. They can fast for days and 
go without sleep for days. Generally they are men 
of their word, men of honour, imbued with a strong 
idea of self-respect, true to their vows; men who are 
not swayed by lust or passion. 

To this class belonged most of the Maniktolah 
party, Barendra and his friends. But it is evident 
that there are some theists among them, i. e., theists 
in the Western sense of the term. The man who 
shot Gossain, the first approver 5 in Bengal, was a 

6 It was in the first half of the year 1908 that the first bomb 
was thrown at Muzaffarpur, Behar. It was meant for a 
Magistrate who had been passing sentences of whipping on 
nationalist youths, but by mistake it struck a quite innocent 
person. The investigation of this case resulted in the dis- 
covery of a big conspiracy. The trial of this conspiracy is 
known by the name " Maniktolah Bomb Case " from the fact 
that the headquarters of this conspiracy were alleged to have 
been in the Maniktolah gardens, Calcutta. One of the con- 
spirators Narendra Nath Gossain became an approver. After 
the case had been committed for trial before the Sessions 
Court and when the approver and the accused were both 
lodged ifi jail at Alipore, one of the leaders of the con- 
spiracy shot the approver dead with a rifle which had been 
smuggled into the jail premises by their friends. 

Har Dayal 


Brahmo (member of the Brahmo Samaj). They 
have some Mohammedans and some Christians, too, 
among them. Brahm Bhandu Bandhopadhyai G was 
a Christian at one time. These people have follow- 
ers and adherents throughout India, in the Punjab, 
in the United Provinces, in Maharastra, in Gujrat, 
in Behar, in Rajputana, even in Madras. 

Advocates of Organised Rebellion. (2) Next in 
order come those who differ from the first in so far 
as they do not believe in individual murders or 
dacoities. For traitors and approvers even they 
have no mercy, but they would not murder indi- 
vidual British officers or Indians in the service of the 
Government; nor would they rob private persons. 
They are for organised rebellion, for tampering with 
the army, for raising the standard of revolt, and for 
carrying on a guerilla war. For the purposes of 
this rebellion or war they may do and will do any- 
thing that is necessary to be done ; but otherwise they 
would neither murder nor loot. 

Har Dayal. To this class, I think, belongs Har 
Dayal. It is very interesting to note the develop- 
ment of this man. He comes from a Kayastha 
family of Delhi and received his education in a mis- 
sion school and a mission college under Christian in- 
fluence. He was a member of the Young Men's 
Christian Association when he graduated. Then he 
came to Lahore and joined the government college 
there, as a stipend holder, where he took his Master 
of Arts degree in 1903, standing at the top of the 
list. His subject was " English language and litera- 

6 A great Nationalist leader of Bengal, now dead. 


ture " and so thorough was his mastery of the lan- 
guage that in some papers he obtained full marks. 
He continued there for another year and took his 
M.A. degree a second time in History. All this 
time he was a cosmopolitan, more of a Brahmo than 
a Hindu or a Nationalist. Then he left for Eng- 
land, having secured a Government of India schol- 
arship, and joined the St. John's College at Oxford. 
It is needless to say that even here he maintained his 
reputation for brilliant scholarship, but what is re- 
markable is, that it was here that he became a Na- 
tionalist. He is a man of strong impulses. For 
him, to believe is to act. It appears that within a 
short time he developed ideas of a rather extreme 
type. He came to believe that the English were un- 
dermining Hindu character; that their educational 
policy and methods had been designed to destroy 
Hinduism and to perpetuate the political bondage of 
the Hindus, by destroying their social consciousness 
and their national individuality. He studied the 
history of the British rule and British institutions in 
India from original documents, parliamentary blue 
books and varied other sources, and came to the con- 
clusion that the British were deliberately Anglicising 
the Indians with a view to destroying their national- 
ism and to impressing them with the inferiority of 
their institutions, so that they might value the British 
connection and become Britishers. He thought it 
wrong to study in their institutions, take their de- 
grees, and otherwise benefit from anything which 
they did as rulers of India. As we have said above, 
for him to believe was to act. As soon as he formed 


the above opinions, he made up his mind to resign 
his stipend, give up his studies, and return to India, 
which he did towards the end of 1907. Even before 
he reached India, he gave up English dress and began 
to eschew all the peculiarities of English life. He 
took to Indian shoes, Indian cap, Indian Kurta 
(shirt), Indian Pa jama (trousers) and wrapped 
himself in an Indian shawl. He would not even 
mix with Mohammedans and Christians. For a 
time he was a strict Hindu in form, though not in 
religion. When his old master, Principal Rudra of 
the Delhi St. Stephen's College, called on him at La- 
hore, he would not shake hands with him nor offer 
him a seat on his mat, because he was a Christian 
(he had no chairs). His cult at that time was a 
wholesale and complete boycott of British govern- 
ment and British institutions. He aimed to estab- 
lish an order of Hindu ascetics to preach his ideas 
and to spread his propaganda. With that view he 
collected about half a dozen young men about him, 
who, under his inspiration, left their studies as well 
as their homes and showed their readiness to do as 
he would wish them to do. He lived a life of purity 
and wanted others to do the same. At that time 
he did not believe in or preach violence. He dis- 
cussed, argued, preached, and wrote for the press. 
His writings began to attract attention, and so did 
his activities, and it was feared that the Government 
would soon find some means of putting him out of 
the way. So he decided to leave the country, and 
in the beginning of the second half of the year 1908 
left India for good. He went to England, with the 


idea of preaching his gospel among the Indian stu- 
dents in England. He stayed there for some time 
and found out that there was not much scope for 
his type of nationalism. He also feared that the 
British Government might arrest him. So he left 
England and for about two years travelled, to and 
fro, to find a place where he could live very cheaply 
and without fear of molestation from the British 
Government and carry on his propaganda. He was 
for over a year in France, where he came in contact 
with the best political thought of Europe. Here he 
made friends with Egyptian nationalists and Rus- 
sian revolutionists. His knowledge of the French 
language was good. He could not only speak that 
language fluently, but could compose in it. He used 
to write occasionally for the French press. He can 
use the German language also. Eventually he came 
to America and settled here. The contributions 
that he made to the Indian press during the first year 
of his sojourn in the United States did not indicate 
any very great change in his views on Nationalism, 
but a year after he was quite a different man. His 
political nationalism remained the same, but his 
views on social questions, on morality, on Hindu 
literature and Hindu institutions, underwent a com- 
plete metamorphosis. He began to look down upon 
everything Hindu and developed a great admiration 
for Occidental ideas of freedom. There is, how- 
ever, one thing about him that has stuck fast, and 
that is his hatred of British rule in India. His pres- 
ent cult is to dissuade Indians from engaging in any 
work except that of political propaganda. We are 


told by him (that was what he said to American 
journalists at the time of his arrest in San Fran- 
cisco as an undesirable alien) that he is not an 
anarchist and that he does not advocate the use of 
bomb and of revolver for private murders or for 
the murders of individuals. We have no reason to 
disbelieve him. Nobody, however, knows what 
changes are yet to take place in his views. He is a 
quite uncertain item. He is an idealist of a strange 
type. He is simple in his life and apparently quite 
indifferent to the opinions of others about him. He 
does not court favour at the hands of any one and 
would go out of his way to help others. He is loved 
and respected by hundreds and thousands of his 
countrymen, including those who do not agree with 
his views or his propaganda or his programme. 
Even the late Mr. Gokhale admired him. 

Hardayalism. Har Dayal is an advocate of open 
rebellion; he does not advocate the use of the bomb 
or the revolver for killing individuals, but he ad- 
mires and glorifies those who have risked their lives 
using the same. 7 

Neither of these classes is prepared to make any 
compromise with the British. They stand for abso- 
lute independence; full Sivaraj. They know, per- 
haps, that they have a very difficult task before them, 
but they have confidence in themselves and believe 
that the difficulties are not insuperable. They do 
not believe that in order to gain Swaraj, India 

7 One of his followers in San Francisco has told me that this 
description of him, viz., that he does not advocate the use of 
the bomb or the revolver is not correct. 


should have more widespread education, or that 
social reform and social consolidation must precede 
political freedom. They consider that these are all 
fads, ideas with which the British have inoculated 
the Indians in order to keep them busy with non- 
political activities and to keep down their manhood. 
It is a part of the imperial game that the rulers 
should manage to fill the ruled with the idea of their 
own incompetence to manage their affairs, of their 
inability to unite, of many differences and divisions 
among them, and of their incapacity to win their 
freedom. These nationalists deprecate communal 
or sectional activities. They do not countenance the 
organisations engaged in religious and social reform. 
In their opinion all these so-called reform organisa- 
tions are doing positive mischief in keeping the na- 
tion engaged in less important matters and in 
directing the nation's mind from the all important 
question of national freedom. They want to con- 
centrate the nation's mind on this one point. 

Political Freedom the First Condition of Life. 
According to them life in political bondage or in 
political subjection is a negation of life. Life signi- 
fies power and capacity to grow and progress. A 
slave, a bondsman, is not free to grow. His inter- 
ests are always subordinate to those of his master. 
He must give the best in him to the service of the 
latter. His will must always be under his master's 
will, who is practically his conscience's keeper. No 
man can grow to the full stature of his manhood ; no 
man can rise to the best in him; no man can make 
the best use of his faculties and opportunities; no 


man can develop either his body or his soul accord- 
ing to his liking, under these circumstances. What- 
ever he does, he does for his master, in his name and 
in his interest. The credit and the glory and the 
benefit of it, all accrue to him. 8 If this is true of an 
individual slave, it is equally true of a nation in 
political bondage. 

As a proof of the truth of their statements, they 
point to the history and activities of the Indian Na- 
tional Congress. The Congress people ask for Uni- 
versal Primary Education ; the Government says no. 
They can not find money for it ; " the country is not 
prepared for it; nor is it good for the people at 
large." If the masses are educated, they might be- 
come discontented and create trouble for the Gov- 
ernment. The Congress wants a repeal of the Arms 
Act; the Government says no. The people might 
use the arms against the Government, and that is a 
calamity to be avoided. The Congress desires that 
Indians be enrolled as volunteers; the Government 
says no. It is not desirable to give military training 
to the Indians. They might use it against the Gov- 
ernment. It is not desirable to have companies of 
volunteers composed of Indians only, as they might 
conspire against the reigning power. It is equally 
undesirable to force them on European and Eurasian 
companies against their wishes, as that would wound 
their social and imperial susceptibilities. The Con- 
gress politician wants to protect Indian industries; 

8 This is illustrated in Indian official life day in and day out. 
It is not a rare occurrence that the British heads of the De- 
partments get credit for what has been achieved by the genius, 
intelligence and labour of their Indian subordinates. 


the Government says no. That will injure Lanca- 
shire. The Congress wants more of technical edu- 
cation; the Government says, the country does not 
need it and they can not spare funds for it. The 
Congress wants national schools and national uni- 
versities ; the Government says no, " you may misuse 
them." The keynote of the situation is, that India 
must exist in the interests of England and English- 
men ; or at any rate England and English politicians 
know what is good and useful for India, how much 
she should and how much she should not have; in 
what line she should advance and in what she should 
not. India and Indians have no right to think for 
themselves. Anything they think or decide to do 
must be tested by Englishmen according to their 
standards and in the way they think it is likely to 
further the interests of their empire. 

These nationalists therefore maintain that the 
first condition of life, — life with respect and honour, 
life for profit and advantage, life for progress and 
advancement, — is political freedom. Life without 
that is no life. It is idle therefore to think of mat- 
ters which are manifestations or developments or 
embellishments of life. 

Education can only profit a living being. A 
human being instructed on the lines on which certain 
beasts or animals are instructed, can, like the latter, 
only respond to the calls of his master. The mas- 
ter wants them to salute; they salute. The master 
wants them to dance; they dance. The master 
wants them to do any other job for him; they do it. 
Their will and intellect are always subordinate to the 


master. Independent of the master, they have 
neither will nor intellect. Education under these 
circumstances, they maintain, is a degrading- of 
human faculties, and a travesty. In their opinion it 
would be best for their people to remain uneducated, 
rather than be educated only for the benefit and use 
of their masters. 

Similarly they think that all the schemes for social 
reform, for sectarian advancement, for commercial 
interests, are nothing more than so many devices for 
dividing the nation and keeping them engaged in 
never-ending internecine quarrels. They consider 
this to be a misplaced dissipation of energies and a 
misuse of opportunities. They wish that every man 
and woman in India should for the present think of 
nothing else but political freedom. The first thing 
is to get rid of the foreigner. Who will rule India 
and how, what shape will the government of the 
country take, how will the different religions and 
different interests be represented therein? — these 
and other cognate questions do not trouble them. 
They believe that as soon as England leaves India, 
some one will rise sphinxlike who will establish 
some form of national government. The time will 
produce the man. It would be then time to think 
and discuss how to improve it. They do not mind 
if the Hindus or the Mohammedans or the Sikhs or 
the Gurkhas rule India ; nor whether it is the Maha- 
raja of Nepal or that of Odeypore, or that of Baroda, 
or that of Patiala, or the Nawab of Hyderabad, or 
that of Bhawalpore, who becomes supreme; nor 
whether the form of government is monarchical or 


oligarchic, or republican. These questions do not 
trouble them. They do not, of course, want any 
foreign government, but if the way of eventual na- 
tional freedom lies that way, they do not mind even 
that. Anything would be better than the present 
government. The British Government is slowly 
dissolving the nation. If they have to die, they 
would rather die of plague or cholera, than of ty- 
phoid or consumption. The apprehensions of dis- 
turbances of peace do not frighten them. They are 
sick of peace. Peace under existing conditions has 
unmanned the nation ; it has emasculated the people 
and sapped their manhood. Anything rather than 
peace at such price. The desire for peace on any 
terms, has been the curse of British rule. It has 
done them more harm than disorder or anarchy ever 
did. Blessed was the disorder that preceded the rise 
of the Mahratta power or the establishment of the 
Sikh commonwealth. Blessed were the conditions 
of life that produced a Partap, a Sivaji, a Durga 
Dass, and a Govind Singh. 9 Cursed are the condi- 
tions of peace that can only produce Daffadars and 
Jamadars or at the most Risaldars 10 or Kaiser- 

This is Hardayalism. Most of the Nationalists 
of the two classes described above belong to this 
school, but there are some among them who do not 
wholly fall in with this view. They are prepared to 
agree that the political question must always be in 
the forefront, and that nothing should be done which 

9 Indian heroes. 

10 Non-commissioned officers of the native Indian army. 


may in any way overshadow this or relegate it to a 
secondary position ; but they do not believe that poli- 
tics alone should usurp the whole thought and life 
of the nation. It would not be right to conclude 
from the above description that the Indian National- 
ists have no constructive programme for the future, 
but it is obvious that in the absence of freedom and 
opportunities to discuss it openly, opinions on the 
subject can not be crystallised. 

Arabinda Ghosh — Vedantist and Sivarajist. It 
is difficult to say to which of these classes, if to either 
at all, Arabinda Ghosh belonged or still belongs. At 
one time it was believed that he belonged to the first 
class, to which most of the other Bengalee extrem- 
ists belonged, but whether that belief was right and 
whether he still thinks on the same lines, it is difficult 
to say. One thing is certain, that he was and is 
quite unlike Har Dayal in his line of thought. In 
intellectual acumen and in scholastic accomplish- 
ments he is perhaps superior to Har Dayal, but above 
all he is deeply religious and spiritual. He is a wor- 
shipper of Krishna and is a high-souled Vedantist. 
Even simpler and more ascetic in his life and habits 
than Har Dayal, he is for an all-around development 
of Indian Nationalism. His notions of life and 
morality are pre-eminently Hindu and he believes in 
the spiritual mission of his people. His views may 
better be gathered from an interview, which he re- 
cently gave to a correspondent of The Hindu, of 
Madras. We quote the interview almost bodily and 
in the words of the interviewer. 


" But what do you think of the 1914 Congress and 
Conferences? " I insisted. 

He spoke almost with reluctance but in clear and 
firm accents. He said : " I do not find the pro- 
ceedings of the Christmas Conferences very inter- 
esting and inspiring. They seem to me to be mere 
repetitions of the petty and lifeless formulas of the 
past and hardly to show any sense of the great 
breath of the future that is blowing upon us. I 
make an exception of the speech of the Congress 
President which struck me as far above the ordinary 
level. Some people, apparently, found it visionary 
and unpractical. It seems to me to be the one prac- 
tical and vital thing that has been said in India for 
some time past." 

He continued : " The old, petty forms and little 
narrow, make-believe activities are getting out of 
date. The world is changing rapidly around us and 
preparing for more colossal changes in the future. 
We must rise to the greatness of thought and action 
which it will demand from the nations who hope to 
live. No, it is not in any of the old formal activi- 
ties, but deeper down that I find signs of progress 
and hope. The last few years have been a period of 
silence and compression, in which the awakened 
Virya 1X and Tejas of the nation have been concen- 
trating for a greater outburst of a better directed 
energy in the future. 

" We are a nation of three hundred millions," 
added Mr. Ghosh, " inhabiting a great country in 
which many civilisations have met, full of rich ma- 

11 Force, energy and vitality. 


terial and unused capacities. We must cease to 
think and act like the inhabitants of an obscure and 
petty village." 

"If you. don't like our political methods, what 
would you advise us to do for the realisation of our 
destiny? " 

He quickly replied : " Only by a general intel- 
lectual and spiritual awakening can this nation fulfil 
its destiny. Our limited information, our second- 
hand intellectual activities, our bounded interests, 
our narrow life of little family aims and small 
money getting have prevented us from entering into 
the broad life of the world. Fortunately, there are 
ever-increasing signs of a widened outlook, a richer 
intellectual output and numerous sparks of liberal 
genius which show that the necessary change is 
coming. No nation in modern times can grow great 
by politics alone. A rich and varied life, energetic 
in all its parts, is the condition of a sound, vigor- 
ous national existence. From this point of view 
also the last five years have been a great benefit to 
the country." 

I then asked what he thought of the vastly im- 
proved relations that now exist between the Briton 
and the Indian in our own country and elsewhere. 

" It is a very good thing," he said, and he ex- 
plained himself in the following manner: "The 
realisation of our nationhood separate from the rest 
of humanity was the governing idea of our activities 
from 1905 to 1910. That movement has served its 
purpose. It has laid a good foundation for the 
future. Whatever excesses and errors of speech 


and action were then disclosed, came because our 
energy, though admirably inspired, lacked practical 
experience and knowledge. 

" The idea of Indian nationhood is now not only 
rooted in the public mind, as all recent utterances go 
to show, but accepted in Europe and acknowledged 
by the Government and the governing race. The 
new idea that should now lead us is the realisation 
of our nationhood not separate from, but in, the 
future scheme of humanity. When it has realised 
its own national life and unity, India will still have 
a part to play in helping to bring about the unity of 
the nations." 

I naturally put in a remark about the Under-Sec- 
retary's " Angle of Vision." 

" It is well indeed," observed Mr. Ghosh, " that 
British statesmen should be thinking of India's 
proper place in the Councils of the Empire, and it is 
obviously a thought which, if put into effect, must 
automatically alter the attitude of even the greatest 
extremists towards the Government and change for 
the better all existing political relations. 

" But it is equally necessary that we, Indians, 
should begin to think seriously what part Indian 
thought, Indian intellect, Indian nationhood, Indian 
spirituality, Indian culture have to fulfil in the gen- 
eral life of humanity. The humanity is bound to 
grow increasingly on. We must necessarily be in 
it and of it. Not a spirit of aloofness or of jealous 
self-defence, but of generous emulation and brother- 
hood with all men and all nations, justified by a sense 
of conscious strength, a great destiny, a large place 


in the human future — this should be the Indian 

The oneness of humanity is a topic dear to the 
heart of Babu Arabinda Ghosh and when I (f. e., the 
interviewer) suggested to him that Vedantic ideas 
would be a good basis for unity, his reply was full 
of enthusiasm : 

" Oh, yes," he said, " I am convinced and have 
long been convinced that a spiritual awakening, a re- 
awakening to the true self of a nation is the most 
important condition of our national greatness. The 
supreme Indian idea of the oneness of all men in 
God and its realisation inwardly and outwardly, in- 
creasingly even in social relations and the structure 
of society is destined, I believe, to govern the prog- 
ress of the human race. India, if it chooses, can 
guide the world." 

And here I said something about our " four thou- 
sand " castes, our differences in dress and in " caste 
marks," our vulgar sectarian antipathies and so 

" Not so hard, if you please," said Mr. Ghosh 
with a smile. " I quite agree with you that our social 
fabric will have to be considerably altered before 
long. We shall have, of course, to enlarge our fam- 
ily and social life, not in the petty spirit of present 
day Social Reform, hammering at small details and 
belittling our immediate past, but with a larger idea 
and more generous impulses. Our past with all its 
faults and defects should be sacred to us. But the 
claims of our future with its immediate possibilities 
should be still more sacred." 


His concluding words were spoken in a very sol- 
emn mood : 

" It is more important," he said, " that the thought 
of India should come out of the philosophical school 
and renew its contact with life, and the spiritual life 
of India issue out of the cave and the temple and, 
adapting itself to new forms, lay its hand upon the 
world. I believe also that humanity is about to en- 
large its scope by new knowledge, new powers and 
capacities, which will create as great a revolution in 
human life as the physical science of the nineteenth 
century. Here, too, India holds in her past, a little 
rusted and put out of use, the key of humanity's 

" It is in these directions that I have been for 
some time impelled to turn my energies rather than 
to the petty political activities which are alone open 
to us at the present moment. This is the reason of 
my continued retirement and detachment from ac- 
tion. I believe in the necessity at such times and 
for such great objects, of Tapasya, 12 in silence for 
self-training, for self-knowledge and storage of 
spiritual force. Our forefathers used that means, 
though in different forms. And it is the best 
means for becoming an efficient worker in the great 
days of the world." 

Ganesh Vindyak Savarkar. At this stage we 
might mention the name of another Nationalist, who 
exercised a vast influence on young Indians in Eng- 
land for a number of years and is now serving a life- 

12 Life of meditation and self-denial. 


term in the Andamans. We mean Ganesh Vinayak 
Savarkar. In the simplicity of his life he was of the 
same class as Arabinda Ghosh and Har Dayal. In 
the purity of his life he was as high as either. In 
politics he fell in the first category minus their re- 
ligious fervour. In his general views he was more 
or less what Har Dayal is, minus his denunciation 
of those who are engaged in non-political activities. 
Savarkar had extremely fine qualities of a leader. 
He has been caught because he was reckless; he 
never cared about his personal safety; he had the 
dash of the old warrior who always put himself in 
the post of danger. Har Dayal keeps himself in the 
background and avoids danger. Arabinda stands 
midway between the two. 

The Terrorists. (3) The third class of Na- 
tionalists consists of those who would like absolute 
independence, but who do not believe that it is pos- 
sible in the near future. They approve of the occa- 
sional use of bomb and revolver for terrorist 
purposes ; especially now when no other method has 
been left of carrying on a propaganda of freedom. 
The press has been gagged; the platform has been 
dismantled. Any vigorous political propaganda, in- 
cluding strong criticism of the Government and its 
methods, is out of the question, No one can point 
out the political and economic disasters of foreign 
rule, much less discuss it with reference to actual 
facts and figures. There is no other way of remind- 
ing the people at home and abroad of the standing 
and colossal wrong which the British Government is 
guilty of in keeping India under her yoke. In their 


opinion, the occasional use of the bomb and the re- 
volver is the only way to assert their manhood and 
their desire for freedom, and to announce their dis- 
satisfaction and discontent. It attracts attention 
all over the world. It makes people think of India. 
At home it reminds people of the wrongs they have 
suffered and are suffering at the hands of the Gov- 
ernment. At first it shocks the people, but then it 
stirs them to think. The bomb has entered Indian 
life, perhaps never to leave it. They abhor it, but 
they are getting accustomed to it. They do not now 
think so badly of those who use the bomb as they 
once used to. 

Advocates of Constructive Nationalisation. (4) 
In the fourth class are comprised those who want in- 
dependence, but not at once. They would rather 
consolidate the nation, raise its intellectual and moral 
tone, increase its economic efficiency, before they 
raise the standard of revolt. They do not believe 
that England will ever free them or give them even 
Colonial Self-Government except under very great 
pressure. They do not believe that nations let 
things go out of their grip or hold if they can help it, 
and unless their own safety demands it. In their 
opinion the Congress as well as the bomb have come 
rather early. They would have the nation apply 
herself wholeheartedly to the work of education and 

Independence, but not at once. They do not want 
the British to go until the people of India are suffi- 
ciently strong to turn them out by force, and are 
able to protect themselves and to maintain their in- 


dependence and their liberties against the outside 
world. They recognise the force of the argument 
that the British may never allow them to grow so 
strong as to be able to win their liberty, and by 
waiting they might lose all conscious desire for 
political freedom and might become permanent para- 
sites. They, however, think that they can guard 
against such possibilities by keeping their national- 
ism alive and by occasionally suffering for it. 
Driven to this corner, they admit that now that the 
Congress and the bomb have come, they might stay. 
In the opinion of some both are useful in their own 
way. They would not advocate the use of the bomb 
and the revolver; in fact they might in all serious- 
ness dissuade people from using them, but when they 
are used, they would not give up the offenders even 
if they knew who they were. They would approve 
the use of the bomb and the revolver against indi- 
vidual tyrants or against people who insult Indian 
manhood and womanhood, as in the present state of 
racial and political feeling in India no other way is 
open to bring them to book and get justice against 
Englishmen, but they do not like the use of the bomb 
and the revolver for general political purposes or for 
terrorising. These people believe in a propaganda 
of selfless social service. The people must be ap- 
proached and won over by service and love, before 
any political upheaval is attempted. 

Preparing the Nation for Freedom. Nothing can 
be achieved without the help of the people. " We 
must have the people with us," say they. " And in 
order to win the people to our side, we must show 


them conclusively that we have their interests at 
heart, that we love them perhaps more than we love 
ourselves, that we are disinterested and public spir- 
ited and that we are in every respect better and more 
honourable than the foreign rulers. Our moral su- 
periority over the agents of the foreign government 
must be ever present in the minds of the people in 
order to enable them to support us and back us in 
the coming political struggle." In their eyes the 
Congress propaganda has no other value but educa- 
tional. They have no faith in the benevolence of 
British statesmen and they do not believe that the 
Congress would achieve anything substantial. They 
are very uncertain about the future, and therefore to 
them, the best course open is to engage in educa- 
tional and social work. They are neither dreamers 
nor idealists, but practical patriots, who are content 
to do the spade work and sow the seed. They con- 
fess that they can not see far ahead and are therefore 
afraid of the demoralising influences of the bomb 
and the revolver. Nor can they justify political 
robberies and dacoities. They think that, this time, 
independence should come never to be lost again, 
and in their judgment that is only possible if inde- 
pendence is not won by a few but by the whole united 
nation. In the meantime they would wait and build 
up their nation. 

Preparatory Work from Below. The Congress 
has failed, they say, because it has been trying to get 
political concessions from above. The right policy 
is to work from below. They do not believe in 
" mendicancy " ; nor do they place any reliance in 


" benevolence and philanthropy in politics." On the 
other hand, they differ from the extremists in their 
methods, as they believe in a steady development of 
the national mind and the national will and have no 
faith in heroic remedies. They do not care to run 
the risk of " relapses." They contain in their num- 
ber some of the noblest sons of India, whose life is a 
record of continuous selfless service in the field of 
social work. They should not be confounded with 
the " resolution " patriots of the Social Conferences 
or other conferences; nor should they be judged by 
the length of their speeches or their fluency or capac- 
ity to deliver long orations in English. They are 
generally modest people who do not claim erudite 
scholarship or great statesmanship. They do not go 
in for any recognition, whether from the Govern- 
ment or from the people. The satisfaction of their 
own conscience and undisturbed work are the only 
rewards they seek. 

Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj, Ramakrishna Mis- 
sion. They are to be found in all sections of the 
great Indian nation, in all religions, and in all com- 
munities. They live simply on simple fare, in 
simple and scanty garments and in simple houses. 
They earn m order to give. They live in order to 
serve. To this class belong some of the Bengalee 
deportees, and to this class belong a great many 
members of the Brahmo Samaj, the Arya Samaj, 
and the Ramakrishna Mission. They have large 
followings, but yet their number is by no means 
great. They are well known in their respective 
circles, but are not so well known outside, as the 


" extremists " and " moderates " are. The C. I. D. 
(Criminal Investigation Department) of the Gov- 
ernment keeps a close watch over them ; the govern- 
ment officers keep themselves informed of their 
movements and doings. They want to be left alone 
and allowed to do their work quietly and unostenta- 
tiously, but the Government will not leave them 
alone and suspects them of deep designs and secret 

The Moderates. (5) We now come to the mod- 
erates. There are some who would not advocate the 
use of the bomb or the revolver, but who do not de- 
sire the total disappearance of the extremist party; 
and the occasional use of the bomb and the revolver 
gives a point to their organisation which they 
would not lose. Lacking the intelligent support of 
the masses in their propaganda, being too lazy to 
court it by legitimate means, or too self-centred to 
run the risk involved therein, they are heartily glad 
of the existence of a party in the country which has 
raised their importance in the eyes of the Govern- 
ment and the British public. Of course they do not 
say so and their abhorrence and detestation of the 
bomb and the revolver is quite genuine, yet they 
would be very sorry if the extremist party were ex- 
tirpated altogether. 

Gokhale. The noblest and the best of the Con- 
gress type from the Nationalist point of view was 
represented by Mr. Gokhale. Mr. Gokhale loved his 
country quite sincerely and lived and worked for it. 
With the exception of Dadabhai Naoroji, he was 
the only Congressman of reputation and name that 

G. K. Gok ii \i.i- 


lived for his country only and gave his all to her 
service. His life was fairly simple; his patriotism 
was of the highest type; yet he was not the type of 
man fitted to be a hero. He had the qualities of 
statesmanship, but lacked those of generalship. He 
objected to people designating his policy as one of 
mendicancy, or questioning his political ideals. He 
used to remonstrate and say in the most touching 
way : " Do you think, my friend, we are so devoid 
of self-respect and so base as to be happy at our 
country being under foreign domination; do you 
think we wish that it should always remain under 
foreign yoke? No, you do us great injustice if 
you think so. I would have my country be free 
to-day if that were possible. But is it possible? 
Can we work on that basis? In politics you must 
consider what is practical and what is unpractical. 
We can in no way bind the future generations. 
Who are we to bind them irrevocably? We are 
doing what we in our own times consider best and 
practicable. We are not beggars and our policy is 
not that of mendicancy. We are ambassadors of 
our people at a foreign court, to watch and guard 
the interests of our country and get as much for her 
as we can. That is our position." Mr. Gokhale 
believed in the work of consolidation and in the 
work for increasing the social efficiency of the peo- 
ple of India regardless of caste, creed, or colour. 
He had a great deal in common with class number 
(4). But he had great faith in political agitation 
on moderate lines. He was fully conscious of the 
weakness of the Congress methods and extremely 


disliked the behaviour of some of the leaders. He 
quite bemoaned their lack of enthusiasm, their want 
of self-sacrifice, their intolerance, the lack of spirit 
of true comradeship in them, their self-sufficiency 
and, last but not least, their luxurious lives. He 
often compared the type of human material which 
found its way into the Congress with those who 
joined the ranks of the extremists. He admired 
the spirit of the latter, their devotion to the cause, 
their asceticism and their selflessness. He wished 
he had some of that stuff to work for the Congress. 
He admired Arabinda and Har Dayal. He used to 
say that he could not see very far ahead and there- 
fore he preferred to work for the immediate future. 
A few days before his departure from England he 
said to two of his most intimate friends (husband 
and wife) that India would be free in 25 years. 
What he meant by freedom we do not know. 
Probably he meant " as free as the self -governed 
colonies." Of late he was losing faith in English 
liberalism. He noticed the lack of great minds 
among the liberals, but he said they were the only 
people with whom we could work. His experiences 
on the Royal Commission for Public Services sad- 
dened the last days of his life. He could not bear 
the insults that witness after witness (from among 
the Anglo-Indians) heaped on his countrymen, their 
character, their honesty, and their capacity. He 
objected to the extremists calling themselves na- 
tionalists to the exclusion of the people of his ways 
of thinking. He said we were all nationalists. He 
was by far the noblest of the moderates. There is 


no one who is even half so good and noble as he 

Congress Leaders. A great many Congress lead- 
ers are true patriots, but they have such an abnormal 
love of peace and luxury, that they can not even 
think of methods which might even remotely result 
in disturbances of peace, in riots, and in disasters. 
Hence their detestation of the extremist methods 
and their distrust of carrying on a propaganda 
among the masses. They would proceed very, very 
slowly. Of course, there are some among them 
who are cowards, some who are self-seekers, who 
hanker after judgeships, memberships, knighthoods, 
and so on, but we do not count them as nationalists, 
and history knows of no political party which was 
absolutely free from such weaknesses. There are 
some among the Congressmen who are moderates 
by profession, but extremists in their ways of think- 
ing, lacking the courage of identifying themselves 
with the latter; just as there are some who are Con- 
gressmen in name, but are really out and out loyal- 
ists seeking opportunities of advancing their own 
interests. Then there are some who favour con- 
stitutional agitation, but want to make the Congress 
more self-assertive and self-sufficient. They would 
pass resolutions on current topics but would have no 
petitioning or praying or memorialising. 

Passive Resisters. There are others who would 
go even farther and inaugurate a campaign of 
passive resistance and boycott. The Congress thus 
claims as many types of nationalists as the extrem- 
ists. The Passive Resisters are likely to come to 


the front if Mr. Gandhi, the great Hindu Passive 
Resister, undertakes to organise them. 

For obvious reasons we can not classify the living 
Indian Nationalists in India by name. 



Inspiration through European Nationalism. 
There can be no doubt that Indian nationalism is re- 
ceiving a great deal of support from the world- 
forces operating outside of India. On the political 
side it has been inspired and strengthened by the 
forces of European nationalism — the struggles and 
successes of the English proletariat, the sufferings 
and the eventual triumph of the French revolution- 
ists, the efforts and victories of the Italians, the con- 
tinued struggle of Russians, Poles, Finns, Hun- 
garians, and others. The Indian nationalist is an 
ardent student of the history of Modern Europe, 
of England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, 
Russia, Austria, and last but not least, of Turkey 
and the Balkan States. The Nationalist Calendar 
of great men followed by young India contains such 
names as those of Washington, Cavour, Mazzini, 
Bismarck, Kossuth, Emmet, Parnell, by the side of 
Partap, Ram Das, Guru Govind Singh, Sivaji, Tipu 
Sultan, and the Rani of Jhansi. 

History of Modern Europe tabooed in Universi- 
ties. The Indian Government is conscious of this, 
and some people think this is what is influencing the 



policy of the Indian universities in tabooing the his- 
tory of Modern Europe from the courses of studies. 

American literature and American events are also 
playing their own part in the influences that are 
feeding Indian nationalism. The leaders are and 
have ever been close students of American literature 
and the history of the American Federation. Asia, 
however, is playing a greater part in moulding and 
influencing Indian nationalism. The Russo-Japa- 
nese War thrilled India to its core. The recognition 
of Japan as a great power by the Concert of Europe 
is regarded by Young India as the potent factor in 
Indian Nationalism. An awakening current passed 
through the country electrifying the most inert, in- 
articulate and otherwise unapproachable sections of 
the populations. Then came the events in Turkey, 
in Russia, and in China. 

Italian-Turko War. Turkey's war with Italy, 
followed by her struggle with the Balkan States, has 
done wonders in nationalising the Indian Moham- 
medans. At the present moment the Moham- 
medans perhaps feel even more intensely than the 

Indian patriots travelling abroad study the cur- 
rent problems of the various countries through 
which they pass, and note their bearing on their own 
national problems. But what is most important is, 
that they seek and get opportunities of meeting and 
conversing with the nationalists of other countries. 
Some of them are in close touch with the Egyptian 
and Irish nationalists, others with Persians, and so 
on. Indian nationalism is thus entering on an in- 


ternational phase which is bound to strengthen it 
and bring it into the arena of world forces. 

Interpretation of India to Western World. In- 
dian thought, Indian history, and Indian culture are 
receiving a great deal more attention now than they 
ever did before. There is hardly an important con- 
tribution to the thought of the world which does not 
notice and consider the Indian view of the matter 
under discussion. But India is seen by the world 
only through Western spectacles. Some Indians 
are doing valuable work in interpreting India to 
the Western world, and their work is attracting no- 
tice; but a great deal yet remains to be done and 
Indian scholars should make it an item of their pro- 
gramme to open India and Indian thought to the 
outsiders and thus bring India into the vortex of 
world forces. 

Tagorism. While Rabindra Nath Tagore is to 
some degree losing in the estimation and affection 
of his own countrymen by somewhat sacrificing na- 
tionalism to art, he is gaining in world reputation. 
Tagorism is becoming a cult and he is at the present 
moment perhaps the most popular and most widely 
read and widely admired literary man in the world. 
It was a mere chance that his work attracted the 
notice of the trustees of the Nobel prize trust. He 
himself did nothing to attract their notice. 

The Indian publicist has so far lived in a world 
of his own. He has ignored or paid very scanty 
attention to the forces operating in the world for 
progress, for liberty, and for advance in democratic 
ways. The leaders of the National Congress have 


never tried to enlist sympathy for their cause any- 
where outside England. They have never realised 
the value of the world forces and the great sensi- 
tiveness of the English as to what the world thinks 
and says of them. 

The Indian Nationalist would do well to note 
this. He should begin to think and act interna- 
tionally. It is impossible to separate India alto- 
gether from the rest of the world, however the 
British might try and whatever they might do. For 
her sons to try to do that is to strengthen their 
chains and add to the weight which is crushing their 
country. Nothing could be more suicidal or more 



For a time the Mohammedan minority was the 
hope of the British Government in India. As far 
back as 1888, Lord Dufferin * and Sir Auckland 
Colvin had successfully appealed to their fears, and 
won them over by promises of preferential treat- 
ment. That policy has been consistently followed 
since then, and so far has been a great success. The 
bulk of the educated Mohammedans has opposed the 
Congress, in order to please the Government and 
win their gratitude; they also opposed the Swadeshi 
Movement, although the success of the Swadeshi 
was likely to benefit them very materially, since the 
handloom industry was principally in their hands. 
In return, they received substantial benefits in the 
shape of large grants of money for educational pur- 
poses, a larger percentage of posts in government 
service, a larger number of titles and honours, a 
separate and larger representation in the councils, 
and so on. Lord Morley confirmed this policy of 
preference by making it a special feature of his Re- 

1 Lord Dufferin was the Governor General of India and Sir 
A. Colvin was the Lieutenant Governor of what were then the 
Northwestern Provinces, now the United Provinces of Agra 
and Oudh. 



form scheme in 1908. So the Mohammedans were 
in very high spirits in 1908. The Nationalist party 
in Bengal had a large number of friends and sym- 
pathisers among the Mohammedans, but as com- 
pared with the Separatist party, their number was 
very small and meagre. In its inception and for 
some time thereafter the Nationalist movement in 
India was thus a pre-eminently Hindu movement. 

Mohammedan Revulsion of Feeling against the 
British. The world events of the last four years, 
however, have changed the whole aspect of affairs 
in India. The events in Turkey, in Tripoli, in 
Egypt and in Persia have affected the Moham- 
medans deeply and have brought about a revulsion 
of feeling against the British. The Muslims are 
a virile and proud people. The attitude of Britain 
towards Turkey has offended their deepest suscepti- 
bilities and they have begun to think that the British 
in India wanted to bribe them into silent acqui- 
escence in what was happening to the Muslim people 
in the other parts of the globe. For the last four 
years the Muslim press has been carrying on a 
strong, vigorous pan-Islamic propaganda. The Mo- 
hammedan classes as well as masses are full of veiled 
and subdued hatred of the British. Sometimes this 
finds expression on the platform, in the press, and 
in permanent literature also. In the last Balkan 
war and during Turkey's conflict with Italy about 
Tripoli, the Mohammedan mosques rang with loud 
prayers for the victory of Turkey, and with strong 
and open denunciation of their Christian enemies. 
There is a perceptible and clear change in the po- 


litical pronouncements of the Muslim League, 2 but 
the political influence of the Muslim League among 
the people was, so far, little as compared with the 
influence of the Pan-Islamic party. This Pan- 
Islamic party is the extreme wing of the Moham- 
medan Nationalists. 

The number of forfeitures of the Moslem papers 
and publications under the Press Act, the nature of 
those publications and the continued support given 
to the papers that have been more than once for- 
feited and punished by the Government, the change 
in the tone of the Moslem papers in their comments 
on government measures, and the newly born en- 
tente between the Hindus and Mohammedans, of 
which there is unmistakable proof in the press as 
well as in actual life, all point in the same direction. 
There is every chance of the Hindu extremists and 
Muslim extremists making an alliance and joining 
hands, while even the Mohammedan moderates are 
coming nearer the Hindu moderates. 3 The former 
may not actually join the Congress in large numbers, 
but they are thinking and acting the same way. The 
Mohammedan moderates are wiser than the Hindu 
moderates. They use their extreme party as a 
trump card in their negotiations with the Govern- 
ment more effectively than the Hindus do or have 
ever done. The Mohammedan extremist receives 
more substantial support and sympathy from his 
moderate co-religionist than the Hindu extremist 
does from the Hindu moderates. The Moham- 

2 The organisation of the Pro-British Muslims. 

3 See the Introduction. 


medan moderate is more outspoken in his criticism 
of government measures that injuriously affect the 
Mohammedans; he is less lavish in his praises of the 
British Raj; he is a more skilful negotiator and a 
decidedly better and more successful diplomat. 

The educated Mohammedans, outside India, are 
almost to a man identified with Indian Nationalism. 
So the Indian Mohammedan's changed sentiments 
towards the British are likely to be a source of great 
strength to the national cause and make the situa- 
tion more hopeful from the point of view of Indian 

Disaffection among the Sikhs. But the Moham- 
medans were not the only people whom the British- 
ers had succeeded in keeping aloof from the Hindu 
Nationalists. The Sikhs had also so far kept aloof. 
The treatment of the Sikhs in Canada, the Komagata 
Maru 4 incident and the influence of Har Dayal and 
the Gadar party on the Pacific Coast of America 
formed by him, have affected a great change of feel- 
ing among the Sikhs also. The Government may 
try to win them back by making concessions and 
conferring preferments, but a move like the one 
recently made in giving Mr. K. G. Gupta's seat on 
the Secretary of State's Council in London to Sir- 
dar Daljit Singh, a Sikh nobleman, is likely to make 
them look even more ridiculous than before. The 

4 Komagata Maru is the name of a Japanese steamer, which 
a number of Sikh emigrants chartered in Hong Kong in 
1914 A. D. in order to take them to Canada. They were not 
allowed to land and were forced to return to India, under 
circumstances which have created a bitter anti-British feel- 
ing among the Indians all over the world. 


Britisher's lack of imagination is colossal, but we 
did not know that the war was likely to affect even 
his sense of humour. 



It is both difficult and risky to predict, especially 
concerning a country situated as India is to-day. 
It is always the unexpected that happens in human 
affairs. This is particularly true where human af- 
fairs are so complicated and complex as in India. 
It is perhaps easier to predict the future of America 
or England, than that of India. The Indian nation- 
alists of the nineties, or even of the early days of 
the new century, could hardly have imagined the 
developments of the last fifteen years. It is true 
that India is rather immobile; its masses are rather 
inert; and perhaps of all peoples the least affected 
by changes in the outside world. They have been 
under the benumbing influence of a philosophy of 
life which keeps them contented even under adverse 
circumstances, even when they are starving and 
have no clothes to hide their nakedness. 

Change in Indian Life and Depth of Nationalism. 
But this is only partially true of modern India. 
There is a great deal of exaggeration about the im- 
mobility of Indian people. There may be millions 
in India who are as unaffected by modern conditions 
of life and modern ideas as they were fifty years 
ago, but then there are millions who have con- 



sciously awakened. Their strength is not to be 
judged by the attendance at Congresses and confer- 
ences or other public meetings or demonstrations, 
nor by the circulation of newspapers or books. 
Popular demonstrations organised in honour of 
popular leaders, and the increase in the circulation 
of newspapers give indications of a great change in 
Indian life, but the actual change is even much 
greater. Read the poetry of the country or its 
prose, read the rough versifyings of the half-edu- 
cated or even uneducated men and women (includ- 
ing some who are even illiterate), listen to the talk 
in the village park or square or other meeting 
places, see the games which the children of rustics 
and the poorest classes play, attend to the patterings 
of children, examine the popular songs or the music 
that is now in demand, then you will see how deeply 
nationalism has pervaded Indian life and what a 
strong hold it has gained in the thoughts of the 
people. No foreigner can realise that ; only an In- 
dian can properly understand it. Examine the ver- 
nacular press — the most sober and the most loyal 
papers, and underlying the expressions of deepest 
loyalty, you would assuredly come across genuine 
tears of blood, shed for the misfortune of the coun- 
try, its decline, its present wretched and miserable 
condition. From the Indian press we hear a never- 
ceasing lamentation. Listen to the utterances of 
the most wanton chief, and the most callous million- 
aire, bring him out from his isolation or retirement, 
put him on the public platform, and you will notice 
a vein of nationalism in his thoughts and in his 


words. But if you can know what he talks in pri- 
vate to friends from whom he keeps no secrets, you 
will see and notice a great deal more. The writer 
has not so far met a single Indian of any class — 
he has met Indians of all classes and of all shades of 
opinions, educated, uneducated, prince and peasant, 
moderate and extremist, loyalist and seditionist, — 
who was genuinely sorry at the outbreak of this war. 
A number of Indians are fighting at the front. 
They are sincerely loyal and true to their oath of 
allegiance. They would leave nothing undone to 
win, but in their heart of hearts lurks something 
which in moments of reflection or when they are off 
duty, reminds them of the wrongs which they and 
their countrymen are suffering at the hands of Eng- 
land. Nationalism is no longer confined to the 
classes. It promises to become a universal cult. 
It is permeating the masses. Only those Indians 
realise it who mix with the people and do not 
derive their knowledge from works written by 
Englishmen or by other arm-chair politicians. No 
foreigner, however kind and sympathetic, however 
great his knowledge of the language of the country, 
can ever realise it fully. Even the dancing girls are 
affected by it. They will sing political or national 
songs if you so wish. Even the wandering minstrel 
with his rude, one-stringed instrument, knows the 
song that is likely to bring him help. 

Nationalism Fertilised by Blood of Martyrs. No 
amount of repression or espionage can stop it. No 
amount of official terrorism and no devices, invented 
or followed to inculcate loyalty, can stop or check 


the flow of the new feeling of patriotism and na- 
tionalism which is being constantly fed by the sen- 
tences of death and transportation that the British 
courts are passing on beardless youths. The Gov- 
ernment can not help it. They must punish the of- 
fender and the criminal. They must hunt up the 
seditionist. They would not be a government if 
they would do otherwise, but India is now in that 
stage and Indian nationalism is in that condition 
when repression, death sentences, and imprisonments 
are more beneficial to it than otherwise. The more 
it is repressed and suppressed, the more this spirit 
grows and spreads. It is a seed that is richly ferti- 
lised by the blood of martyrs. The people do not 
argue, they do not reason, they do not analyse ; they 
feel that good, well-connected, healthy, beautiful 
boys are dying in the country's cause and to get a 
redress of the country's wrongs. When a bomb is 
thrown, the people genuinely condemn the bomb 
thrower, are sincere in their detestation, but when 
he is hanged or transported, they are sorry for him. 
Their original abhorrence changes into sympathy 
and then into love. They are martyrs of the na- 
tional cause. They may be misguided, even mad, 
but they are martyrs all the same. The moralist 
and the legalist and the loyalist and the constitu- 
tionalist, all condemn their deeds, but the doers 
themselves, they adore, and their names they en- 
shrine in their hearts. 

Wave of Indian Nationalism is on. Such is 
human psychology, and such is the psychology of 
nations in the making. The Indian mind has en- 


tered on that phase. No amount of sweet speeches 
by the Viceroy or by the Lieutenant Governors or 
by the commissioners or deputy commissioners, no 
amount of honours and titles or rewards to indi- 
viduals, no amount of preferment of one community 
as against another, no amount of canal-making or 
railway-developing, can change the tide that has 
begun to flow, or retard the sweep, much less turn 
it to ebb. 

Propitiation and Petty Concessions Futile. This 
is the supreme fact of Indian life which every one 
who has anything to do with India, official or non- 
official, statesman or layman, politician or publicist, 
must recognise and face. Nations and individuals, 
filled with their own importance, drunk with power 
and resources, accustomed to mould things and 
forces in their own way, determined to keep what 
they have got, may not see things which are unpleas- 
ant to look at or to think about. But facts are facts 
and do not wait for their action on the pleasure of 
those who do not like them. Canute-like they may 
command the waves, but the waves will not listen to 
them. The wave of Indian nationalism is on and 
no amount of tinkering with Indian administration, 
or sweet phrases, or promises can check it. " We 
are the subjects of the same sovereign," " citizens of 
the same empire," " brothers in arms," " comrades," 
and so on, — these are kind words spoken by people 
who perhaps mean well. But in the light of past ex- 
perience they do not carry much weight; they may 
befool some soft-hearted people, but they would not 
affect the general mind of the nation so long as they 


remain unaccompanied by deeds. An Executive 
Council for the United Provinces, a High Court for 
the Punjab, a High Court and a University for 
Behar, a Charter to the Hindu University, liberal 
grants to Islamic schools and colleges, may please 
some barristers and pleaders, but they will not sat- 
isfy the nation, so long as the Arms Act is on the 
statute book, so long as the Indian Councils are a 
farce, so long as the fiscal policy is laid down in 
the interests of Lancashire, and so long as hundreds 
and thousands of Indian boys fail to earn a decent 
living, while the country is being ruled and ex- 
ploited by the few fortunate foreigners. Indians 
want to go to Canada, to South Africa, to the United 
States of America, because the wages to be earned 
in India are so low, because the life at home is so 
miserable, so helpless and so hard and so humiliat- 
ing. Even abroad the Indian is kicked and insulted 
at almost every step, but then that is more easily 
borne than the kicks and insults of Englishmen in 

Internal Division no Valid Plea. India has and 
can produce enough to feed her own children, 1 nay 
to spare, provided she were free to make her own 
laws, spend her own revenues, and protect her in- 
dustries. Those who plead that Indians are too 
hopelessly divided into religions, communities, sects, 
castes, and languages, to be able to form a govern- 
ment of their own, forget that the English have been 
in India only for the last century and a half and that 

1 During her most dreadful famines hundreds of thousands 
of tons of foodstuffs were shipped out of India. 


before that India governed herself. The India of 
to-day is in no way happier than it was before pre- 
British days. The India of Akbar was happier than 
the England of Elizabeth and even more prosperous. 
The India of Asoka was infinitely happier and more 
prosperous than the England of Alfred the Great. 
The India of Aurangzeb may perhaps have been 
miserable, but surely not more miserable than the 
England of Henry VIII, or the England of James I, 
or the Scotland of Mary, or the Ireland of Crom- 
well, or the France of Henry IV, or the Holland of 
Philip. We have the testimony of English his- 
torians and observers that subjects of the East In- 
dia Company were in no way happier or more pros- 
perous than when they were under Native rule, 2 and 
the subjects of Native States in India governed by 
Natives are on the whole in no way worse off than 
British subjects under the direct rule of the British. 
Look at the United States, how the varied races, 
sects, religions, and communities have merged their 
differences and live under one national government ; 
look at the number of languages spoken in the 
United States — in their schools and in their fac- 
tories. Look at Switzerland, what a tiny little 
country it is! How many languages are spoken 
and taught in its schools and how many languages 
are spoken and used in its councils, and how many 
religions are professed by the people of the country ! 

2 See Mill's History of British India, Vol. VI, pp. 149, 150, 
Vol. VII, p. 388, and p. 393, Vol. IX, pp. 207, 209. See Bishop 
Heber's description of India in T824 quoted in Mill and Wil- 
son's History of India, Vol. IX, p. 376. Also that of Mr. 
Shore in 1833. 


The same remarks may be made about the dual 
monarchy of Austria-Hungary, where the form of 
government is largely representative in spite of the 
diversity of races, sects and languages. 

The number of religions, sects and languages in 
India has been grossly exaggerated. With every 
census the number goes up by hundreds, though the 
country and the people are the same. 

Illiteracy the Fault of the British and no Bar to 
Self-government. Again it is sometimes said that 
India cannot be self-ruling because of its illiteracy. 
This argument does not come with good grace from 
the Britishers because it is they who are responsible 
for the appalling illiteracy of the Indian population. 
In Japan, where the work of education was begun 
late in the last century, 28 per cent, of the children 
of school age were at school in 1873 ; by 1902- 1903 
the percentage had risen to 90. In India, after 150 
years of British rule, the percentage is 19.6. The 
Indian Nationalists have for a number of years 
been asking for compulsory universal education, 
but the Government would not listen. The late 
Mr. Gokhale's Compulsory Elementary Education 
Bill was strongly opposed by the Government and 
thrown out. But what is even worse is that the 
Government would not let the people open their own 
schools and colleges because of the unreasonably 
high standard set up by the Department for their 
recognition as public schools. 

However, universal literacy of the people is not 
an indispensable pre-requisite of self-rule. In 
Japan, where 50 years ago representative govern- 


ment was set up, only the Samurai were literate. 
In India, too, the higher classes are educated to a 
considerable extent. 

England has enjoyed parliamentary government 
for centuries, but universal education was only in- 
troduced in 1870. 

Internal Troubles. As for internal troubles fol- 
lowing the withdrawal of the British or the grant 
of self-government we ask, " Is there any country 
on the face of the earth which is free from internal 
troubles?" Even Great Britain is not; much less 
are the self-governing colonies. Yet nobody ques- 
tions their right to govern themselves. Only the 
other day President Wilson considered the existence 
of internal disorder in Mexico to be no justification 
for the United States interfering in its affairs. 

Unfitness of Orientals for Representative Insti- 
tutions. As for the unfitness of Orientals for 
democratic institutions, why the ancient history of 
India refutes it almost conclusively. India was the 
home of democratic institutions long before Eng- 
land and France had any notion of what democracy 
implied. But if any further proof of the absurdity 
of this plea was needed that has been furnished by 

Nationalism has come to Stay. Let England try 
an experiment by repealing the Arms Act and giv- 
ing a parliamentary government to India and see 
if these considerations effectively stand in the way 
of progress. Be that as it may, however, one thing 
seems to be assured and certain, that Indian nation- 


alism can neither be killed nor suppressed by repres- 
sion, nor by minor concessions. Nationalism has 
come to stay and will stay. What will be the up- 
shot is only known to the Gods. England may win 
or lose in the great war in which she is engaged. 
Indian nationalism will gain in either case. We 
need not consider how India will fare if England 
loses. She may come under Mohammedan domi- 
nation, or the Germans may take possession of her; 
the English would be gone and then India would 
enter upon a new life. India does not want it. She 
will resist it with all her strength. But if it 
comes she can't help it and Great Britain would be 
responsible for having brought it. In case, how- 
ever, England wins, as she is likely to, the Indian 
nationalism will still gain. There will be a de- 
mand for political advance, for a change in the 
political status of the country and in its relations 
towards England and her colonies. From what we 
know of English temper, of English political ma- 
chinery, of English political methods, of English 
ways and of English history, that demand is sure to 
be refused. ' Some minor, petty concessions may be 
made, but they would be disproportionate to the 
sacrifices of men and money that India is making in 
the war. They will not satisfy the country. Dis- 
affection and discontent will grow and that is the 
kind of food on which nationalism thrives and pros- 
pers. So long as there are Curzons, Macdonnels. 
and Sydenhams in the English Parliament. Indian 
nationalism will not starve for want of congenial 


food. And we have no reason to think that these 
dignitaries of the British Government are likely to 

Curzons, Macdonnels, Sydenhams, responsible 
for Bombs and Revolvers. These persons are di- 
rectly responsible for the appearance of bombs and 
revolvers in Indian political life. The young men 
who use them are mere tools of circumstances. If 
any persons deserve to be hanged for the use of 
these destructive machines by Indian nationalists, it 
is they. It is a pity that while the latter are dying 
by tens on the scaffold, the former should be free to 
carry on their propaganda of racial discrimination, 
racial hatred, and social preferment. But the ways 
of Providence are inscrutable. It is perhaps some 
higher dispensation that is using these miserable 
Junkers for its own purposes. Indians have faith 
in Providence and they believe that what is happen- 
ing is for the best. The Indians are a chivalrous 
people; they will not disturb England as long as 
she is engaged with Germany. The struggle after 
the war might, however, be even more bitter and 
more sustained. 


Books by Englishmen 

" New Spirit in India " by H. W. Nevinson. 

" The Awakening in India " by J. Ramsay MacDonald, 

" India, Impressions and Suggestions " by J. Keir Hardie, 

"New India" by Sir Henry Cotton (once an M.P.), late 

of the Indian Civil Service. 
" Allen Octavian Hume " by Sir W. Wedderburn, late of 

the Indian Civil Service (once an M.P.). 
" Prosperous British India " by Mr. William Digby, CLE. 
" India and the Empire " by Mrs. Annie Besant. 
" Indian Nationalism " by Edwyn Bevan. 
"Bureaucratic Government" by Bernard Houghton (late 

of the Indian Civil Service). 
" Lord Curzon a Failure." by C. J. O'Donnell (late of the 

Indian Civil Service). 
"Causes of Indian Discontent" by C. J. O'Donnell (late 

of the Indian Civil Service). 
" The Indian Ryot " by Sir W. Wedderburn. 
" The Skeleton at the Jubilee Feast " by Sir W. Wedder- 
" Congress Green Books " (84, 85, Palace Chambers, 

Westminster, London). 

" The New Nationalist Movement in India," by Dr. J. T. 

" Indian Famines and Their Cause " by Dr. J. T. Sunder- 
land, 423 West 120th Street, New York. 


Books by Indians 

" Poverty or Un-British Rule in India " by Dadabhai 

" India Under Early British Rule " by R. C. Dutt, CLE. 
" India in the Victorian Age " by R. C. Dutt, CLE. 
" Famines and Land Assessment " by R. C Dutt, CLE. 
"England and India" (Indian Progress, 1785-1885) by 

R. C Dutt, CLE. 
" The Civilization of India " by R. C Dutt, CLE. 
" Speeches of the Honourable Mr. G. K. Gokhale." 
" The Swadeshi, a Symposium." 
" Recent Indian Finance " by Wacha. 
" The National Evolution " by A. C Mazumdar. 
" The Indian National Congress." 
" Speeches of Sir P. M. Mehta." 
" The Story of My Deportation " by Lajpat Rai. 
" The Alipore [Bomb Case] Trial." 


The Modern Review (monthly). Calcutta. 
The Indian Review (monthly). Madras. 
The Hindustan Review (monthly). Allahabad. 
India (the British Organ of the Indian National Con- 
gress, weekly). London. 



Feudatory Chiefs Powerless. " It would perhaps be un- 
generous to probe too narrowly the dependent position 
and consequent involuntary action of the feudatory chiefs. 
They are powerless to protect themselves. There is no 
judicial authority to which they can appeal. There is 
no public opinion to watch their interests. Technically 
independent under the suzerainty of the Empire, they 
are practically held in complete subjection. Their rank 
and honours depend on the pleasure of a British Resi- 
dent at their Court, and on the secret and irresponsible 
mandates of a Foreign Office at Simla" (page 34). 

Gross Insults to Indians. " That intense Anglo-Saxon 
spirit of self-approbation which is unpleasantly percep- 
tible in England itself, and is so often offensive among 
vulgar Englishmen on the Continent, very soon becomes 
rampant in India. 

" There are innumerable instances in which pedes- 
trians have been abused and struck because they have 
not lowered their umbrellas at the sight of a sahib on 
the highway. There are few Indian gentlemen even of 
the highest rank who have not had experience of gross 
insults when travelling by railway, because Englishmen 
object to sit in the same carriage with a native" (pages 




Industrial Ruin of India. Gokhale. " When we come 
to this question of India's Industrial domination by Eng- 
land, we come to what may be described as the most 
deplorable result of British rule in this country. In other 
matters there are things on the credit side and things 
on the debit side. . . . But when you come to the in- 
dustrial field, you will find that the results have been 
disastrous. You find very little here on the credit side 
and nearly all the entries on the debit side. Now this is 
a serious statement to make, but I think it can be sub- 

India a Mere Possession. Gokhale. " India formed 
the largest part of the Empire, but was governed as a 
mere possession of the British people. Three features 
showed that it had no part or lot in the Empire. In the 
first place, the people were kept disarmed ; it was 
thought to be dangerous to allow them to carry arms. 
Secondly, they had absolutely no voice in the govern- 
ment of their own country; they were expressly dis- 
qualified from holding certain high offices, and prac- 
tically excluded from others. Lastly, they were not al- 
lowed a share in the privileges of the Empire in any 
portion outside British India, except a limited one in 
the United Kingdom itself." — Mr. Gokhale. 

Masses Starved. Sir C. A. Elliott. " I do not hesi- 
tate to say that half our agricultural population never 
know from year's end to year's end what it is to have 
their hunger fully satisfied." — Sir C. A. Elliott, one- 
time Lieut. -Governor of Bengal. 

Sir W. W. Hunter. In 1880. " There remain forty 
millions of people who go through life on insufficient 
food." — Sir W. W. Hunter. 

William Digby. In 1893. The Pioneer sums up Mr. 
Grierson's facts regarding the various sections of the 


population in Gaya: "Briefly, it is that all the persons 
of the labouring classes, and ten per cent, of the culti- 
vating and artisan classes, or forty-five per cent, of the 
total population, are insufficiently clothed, or insufficiently 
fed, or both. In Gaya district this would give about a 
million persons without sufficient means of support. If 
we assume that the circumstances of Gaya are not ex- 
ceptional, — and there is no reason for thinking other- 
wise — it follows that nearly one hundred millions of 
people in British India are living in extreme poverty." 

In 1901. " The poverty and suffering of the people 
are such as to defy description. In fact, for nearly fifteen 
years there has been a continuous famine in India owing 
to high prices." 

70,000,000 Continually Hungry People in British India. 
W. Digby. " Since Sir William Hunter's remarks were 
made the population has increased (or is alleged to have 
increased) by nearly thirty millions. Meanwhile the in- 
come of the Empire has greatly decreased during this 
period. Wherefore this follows: that is, if with the 
same income, in 1880 forty millions were insufficiently 
fed, the additional millions cannot have had, cannot now 
have, enough to eat ; this, again, ensues : — 

40,000,000 plus, say, 30,000,000, make 70,000,000; and 
there are this number of continually hungry people in 
British India at the beginning of the Twentieth Century." 
— William Digby, C. I. E. 

Deaths from Famine from 1891 to 1900 alone: 19,- 

Total area under cultivation. In the year 1911-12, the 
total area under food grains was over 195 million acres, 
plus 7.5, i. e. over 202J/2 million acres. 

In 1912-13, India exported foodstuffs of the value of 
over 260 million dollars. 

In 1913-14 she exported about 216 million dollars' 
worth of foodstuffs. 

Famines of Money, not Food. Lord G. Hamilton. 
" The recent famines are famines of money, and not of 


food." — Lord G. Hamilton, former Secretary of 

Causes of Famines, i. National industries deliberately 
crushed by the East India Co. cannot revive under ex- 
isting conditions. 

2. Annual drain of India. 

3. Lack of such education as will enable people to 
develop their resources. 

Drain. Montgomery Martin. " The annual drain of 
£3,000,000 from British India has mounted in thirty years, 
at 12 per cent, (the usual Indian rate) compound interest, 
to the enormous sum of £723,900,000 sterling." — Mont- 
gomery Martin. (In 1830.) 

Digby. " During the last thirty years of the century 
the average drain cannot have been far short of £30,- 
000,000 per year, or, in the thirty years, £900,000,000, not 
reckoning interest ! " — Sir William Digby. 

Enormous Foreign Tribute. Rev. J. T. Sunderland. 
Rev. J. T. Sunderland in his work " The Causes of 
Famine in India," like all impartial writers, has con- 
clusively proved that neither " failure of rains " nor 
" over population " is the cause of famines in India. 
He has stated that the real cause of famine is the ex- 
treme, the abject, the awful poverty of the Indian people 
caused by " Enormous Foreign Tribute," " British In- 
dian Imperialism " and the destruction of Indian indus- 

Government assessment too high. Sir W. Hunter. 
" The government assessment does not leave enough food 
to the cultivator to support himself and his family 
throughout the year." — Sir William Hunter, K. C. S. 
I., in the Viceroy's Council, 1883. 

The Ryot. Herbert Compton. " There is no more 
pathetic figure in the British Empire than the Indian 
peasant. His masters have ever been unjust to him. 
He is ground until everything has been expressed, ex- 
cept the marrow of his bones." — Mr. Herbert Compton 
in " Indian Life," 1904. 


Hindustan is an extensive agricultural country and the 
average land produces two crops a year, and in Bengal 
there are lands which produce thrice a year. Bengal 
alone produces such large crops that they are quite suf- 
ficient to provide all the population of Hindustan for two 

Indian Plunder. Adam Brooks. Adam Brooks says, 
(" Laws of Civilization and Decay," page 259-246) " Very 
soon after the Battle of Plassey (fought in 1757) the 
Bengal Plunder began to arrive in London and the effect 
appears to have been almost instantaneous. Probably 
since the world began, no investment has yielded the 
profit reaped from the Indian plunder. The amount of 
treasure wrung from the conquered people and transferred 
from India to English banks between Plassey and Water- 
loo (57 years) has been variously estimated at from $2,- 
500,000,000 to $5,000,000,000. The methods of plunder and 
embezzlement, by which every Briton in India enriched 
himself during the earlier history of the East India Com- 
pany, gradually passed away, but the drain did not pass 
away. The difference between that earlier day and the 
present is, that India's tribute to England is obtained by 
" indirect methods," under forms of law. It is estimated 
by Mr. Hyndman that at least $175,000,000 is drained 
away every year from India, without a cent's return." 

Swami Abhedananda. " India pays interest on Eng- 
land's debt, which in 1900 amounted to 244 millions 
sterling, and which annually increases. Besides this, she 
pays for all the officers, civil and military, and a huge 
standing army, pensions of officers, and even the cost of 
the India Building in London, as well as the salary of 
every menial servant of that house. For 1901-2 the 
total expenditure charged against revenue was $356,97* r 
410.00, out of which $84,795,515.00 was spent in England 
as Home Charges, not including the pay of European 
officers in India, saved and remitted to England. — Swami 
Abhedananda (" India and Her People"). 

Alfred Webb (late M.P.) : " In charges for the India 


Office (in London) ; for recruiting (in Great Britain, 
for soldiers to serve in India) ; for civil and military 
pensions (to men now living in England, who were for- 
merly in the Indian service) ; for pay and allowances on 
furloughs (to men on visits to England) ; for private 
remittances and consignments (for India to England) ; 
for interest on Indian debt (paid to parties in England) ; 
and for interest on railways and other works (paid to 
shareholders in England), there is annually drawn from 
India and spent in the United Kingdom, a sum calculated 
at from £25,000,000 to £30,000,000 (Between $125,000,- 
000 and $150,000,000)." 

" Narrow and Shortsighted Imperial Policy." Sir 
Archibald R. Colquehoun. " The present condition of 
affairs undoubtedly renders the struggle for existence a 
hard one, as may be realized when it is considered that 
a vast population of India not only from the inevitable 
droughts which so frequently occur, but also from a nar- 
row and shortsighted imperial policy which places every 
obstacle in the way of Industrial development and im- 
poses heavy taxes on the struggling people. According 
to various authorities, Russia's demand upon landowners 
in her Central Asian possession are not so exacting as 
ours in India, for the British Government insists on a 
fifth of the produce, making no allowance for good or 
bad years; while Russia is said to ask only a tenth 
and allow for variation of production." (Pages 135-6, 
" Russia Against India," by Sir Archibald R. Colque- 
houn, Gold Medalist, Royal Geographical Society.) 

Taxation. Lord Salisbury. The British policy of 
bleeding Indian people. " The injury is exaggerated in 
the case of India where so much of the revenue is ex- 
ported without a direct equivalent. As India must be 
bled, the lancet should be directed to the parts where 
the blood is congested or at least sufficient, not to those 
already feeble for the want of it." — Lord Salisbury. 



Plague, Deaths from. Plague x deaths from 1897-1913: 

Death Rate. Death rate was: 34.28 for the year 
1907-11 ; 32 for the year 191 1, and 29.71 for the year 1912. 

Rural from 41.8 to 23.5. 

Urban from 47.6 to 22.7. 

Indian Finance. The budget figures of the government 
of India for 1914-15 show the total estimated income for 
the year to be slightly over 85 millions sterling, of which 
more than 17 millions are given out as railway receipts 
and about 43/2 millions for irrigation work, thus leaving 
the pure revenue to be about 63 millions. 

Land Tax. The principal source of revenue is the 
land tax, which alone furnishes a little over 21 l /t mil- 
lions of pounds, of which, if we deduct 9 millions shown 
as the " direct demand on the revenues " only i2 l / 2 millions 
are left for general purposes. 

The military expenses alone are estimated at about 22 
millions, which is even in excess of the gross total re- 
ceipts from the land tax, and is more than one-third of 
the total revenues from all sources. 

The figures for income are a little misleading, be- 
cause out of a total of about 17 millions (17 millions 
and 33 thousand) shown as railway receipts about 13 mil- 
lions (13,409,000) shown as paid for interest and other 
miscellaneous charges on the expenditure side, should be 
deducted. Similarly about 4^ millions are shown as re- 
ceipts under the head of irrigation, and over 3>4 millions 
are shown against that head as expenditure. 

Among the other heads of income, excise brings slightly 

1 We do not mean to say that British Rule in India is re- 
sponsible for the plague, but with better management of re- 
sources, i.e., better sanitation, the plague could have been 
prevented or eradicated sooner than has been attempted. 


over 9 millions. Income tax is included under " Other 
Heads," which show a total figure of slightly over 5 mil- 

Income Tax. The income tax, which is levied on in- 
comes other than those derived from agriculture, is only 
6V2d. in a pound on incomes of £133 or more, a year, 
and almost 5d. a pound on incomes below that figure. 
The minimum taxable income is £66 a year, which shows 
that all incomes of between 5-6 pounds a month, or be- 
tween 25-30 dollars a month, are taxed. The large for- 
tunes made by Europeans and Indians by trade, specula- 
tion, manufacture, and unearned increments of valua- 
tion, are thus easily let off. The principle burden of tax- 
ation falls on the poor ryot. 

Income from agriculture is supposed to be taxed at the 
rate of 50 per cent, of the net income of the landlord, or 
at the rate of 20 per cent, of the gross produce of the 
ryot, under the ryotwari system. In some cases it ex- 
ceeds these proportions and is as high as 65 per cent. 
(See Lord Morley's reply to C. T. O'Donnell.) 

Customs. Customs, which furnish the principal source 
of revenue in the United States and Germany, in India 
only yield about less than jy 2 millions. The imports are 
charged ad valorem duty of 5 per cent, with special con- 
ditions as to textiles, and " a large free list." The textile 
woven goods pay a duty of 3^ per cent, and Lancashire 
is protected by a corresponding excise duty on textile 
goods produced in the country. Iron and steel pay only 
a nominal duty of one per cent. 

The other principal source of revenue is the drink 
traffic, from which the government of India makes an 
income of about nine millions sterling. How much loss 
in morals it inflicts thereby on the country may better be 
imagined. That however is another story. 


TRADE FIGURES FOR 1973 to 1914 

Imports (manufactured articles forming 

80 per cent, of the total) : £127 millions 

Treasure: 29 millions 

£156 millions 
Exports (chiefly raw produce and articles 

of food) : £163 millions 

The shipping is entirely in European hands and it would 
be interesting to enquire how much does India pay for 
the shipping of its imports and exports, and how much do 
the foreigners make by way of insurance and other charges. 
The exact gain to Great Britain and other European 
countries from Indian trade is simply incalculable. The 
great bulk of the foreign trade on both sides is in the 
hands of foreigners. 


Secretary of State and all Under Secretaries, as well as 
Assistant Under Secretaries: 

Council: British Indians Total 

8 2 10 

All Office Establishment and Secretaries: British. 

All salaries and other expenses paid by India. 

Governor General and Council and staff (i.e., the Brit- 
ish Indian Cabinet). 
Members of the Executive Council: British 7; one 
only is an Indian. 

Revenue and Agriculture Department: All Secre- 
taries down to the Superintendent of the Office: 
British. (Total strength, 7.) 

Finance Department: 21; all British except that one 
Assistant Secretary is an Indian, and one Superin- 
tendent is an Indian. 


Foreign Department: 6; all British except that one At- 
tache is an Indian. 

Education Department: 8; one Assistant Secretary is 
an Indian. 

Legislative Department : 7 ; only one Legal Assistant an 

Army Department: 10; one Office Superintendent an 

Public Works: 15; no Indian. 

Commerce and Industry: ii; 3 Office Superintendents 
are Indians. 

Railway Board: 4, no Indian. 

Post Office and Telegraph Department: no Indian. 

Indo-European Trade Department: no Indian. 

Survey: no Indian. 

Geological Survey: 5; no Indian. 

Botanical Department: 5; no Indian. 

Archaeological Survey: 9; one Indian. 

Miscellaneous Appointments: 39; one Indian. 

The Indian Legislative Council: — 

Total strength 67, out of which 35, besides the Gov- 
ernor General are always officials, only one of which 
is an Indian; of the remaining 32, 28 are Indian mem- 
bers, including 3 nominated by the Government, i.e., 
a total of 20 out of 67. 

Provincial Government: 
All Governors, Lieutenant Governors, and Chief Com- 
missioners of Provinces are British. 
In Provinces having Executive Councils of three or 

more, one is an Indian. 
Secretaries and Heads of Departments are all British- 
ers. Of the large army of Under Secretaries and As- 
sistant Secretaries, perhaps one in each Province is an 

Services : 
Army: No Indian is eligible to a commissioned rank. 
Indian Civil Service: (on the first of April, 1913) out 
of a total cadre of 1318, only 46 were Indians. 


Indian Medical Service: Little over 5 per cent, are 

In Provincial Legislative Councils having very re- 
stricted powers of legislation, the elected Indians are 
in a minority everywhere. 


(Figures taken from the Year Book of 1914) 

Area, 1,773,168 square miles. 
Population, 315,132,537. 
Universities in British India, 6. 

Number of High Schools for males 1273 

Number of High Schools for females 144 

Primary schools for males 1 13,955 

i.e., not even 1 for every 10 miles. 
Primary schools for females 13,694 


Males, 106 per 1000, i.e., about 10V2 per cent. 
Females, only 10 per 1000, i.e., about 1 per cent. 

All these figures are taken from the Indian Year Book, 
published by the Times of India Press, Bombay, for the years 
1914 and 1915. 



(An extract from New India, a paper edited by Mrs. 
Annie Besant.) 

The tragedy of Mr. Ramcharan Lai, the ex-editor of 
the Swaraj, continues. Mr. Macleod, the city magistrate 
of Nagpur, has sentenced him to an additional six months 
of rigorous imprisonment after his sentence has expired 
for 'refusing to work.' Our readers will remember the 


case. This unfortunate political prisoner — whose ana- 
logues in foreign countries have been welcomed and pro- 
tected on British soil — under-going a sentence of im- 
prisonment, was so brutally flogged for refusing to do 
work, which he says was more than he could do, that the 
prison doctor admits that he would have been unable to 
work for four days after the flogging, and six weeks after 
it the skin was still discoloured and two serious scars 
remained. Now he has a heavy sentence of six months' 
additional imprisonment. Is this British treatment of a 
political prisoner? Why did Britons protest against the 
use of the knout on political prisoners in Russia? Is there 
no one in the House of Commons who will ask a question 
on this case, and demand an enquiry into the treatment 
of political prisoners in India? 


Abul Fazal, 52 

Abul Qasim, 70 

Ahmad Khan (Sir Syed), 115 

Akbar, 71, 72, 73, 74 

Alberuni, 52 

Alexander the Great, 68 

Al-Hilal, 62 

Asoka, 9, 11, 12, 69 

Aurangzeb, 52, 73, 95 


Ball, Charles (Indian Mu- 
tiny), 105 
Bankim Chandra, 190, 191 
Bannerjea (Sir G.), 171 
Bonner jea, W. C, 133 
Barendra, 194 
Bengalee (newspaper), 24 
Besant, Annie, 50, 115 
Blavatsky, 115 
Burke, Edmund, 76, 77, 99 

Chamberlain Austen, 28 
Chirol (Sir V.), I, 29 
Colvin (Sir A.), 124 
Comrade, 62 

Curzon (Lord), 29, 88, 89, 
147, 156, 158, 159, 239, 240 

Dalhousie, 97 

D. A. V. College, 165 

David, Rhys, 68 

Dayal, Har, 152, 156, 195 to 

199, 211 
Dayanand (Saraswati), 115 
Dickinson (Lowes), 5 
Dufferin (Lord), 121, 122, 

138, 142 

Englishman (The), 168, 169, 

Faizi, 52 

Fergusson College, 164 

Fuller (Sir W. B.), V7 

Gaekwar (Baroda), 88 

Galib, 52 

Ghosh, Arabinda, 152, 155, 

172 to 175, 183, 205, 209, 211 
Gokhale, G. K., 13S, 137, 159 

to 161, 181, 199, 216, 237 
Gossain (Narendra), 194 
Govind (Singh), 95, 102 
Greece, 11 
Gupta Empire, 13 
Gupta, Chandra, 9, 10, 68, 69 
Gupta, Samundra, i3, 14 


Hamdard, 62 

Hardinge (Lord), 121, 184 

Hastings, Warren, 99 

Havell, E. B., 12 

Holmes (History of the 




Sepoy War), 104; (History 
of the Indian Mutiny), 105 
Hume (A. O.), 122, 124 to 
127, 130, 135, 137, 140, 144 

Ibn, Batuta, 52 
Ilbert (Bill), 119 


Kali, 189, 190 

Kaye (History of the Mu- 
tiny), 103, 104, 106 
Kipling, Rudyard, 1 

Lancashire, 62, 75 
Law, Bonar, 28 
Leader (newspaper), 27 
Lincoln, Abraham, 31 
Lytton, Lord, 116, 118 


Macdonald, J. Ramsay, 181, 

Macdonnel, Lord, 29, 239, 240 
Malleson (History of the 

Mutiny), 103, 104, 106 
Manchester, 62 
Mazhar-ul-Haq, 53 
Megasthenes, 69 
Mill (History of Br. India), 

Minto (Lord), 179 
Mohani, Abul Hasan Hasrat, 

Miiller, Max, 1 
Muslim League, 49, 52 
Muslim Gazette, 62 


Naoroji Dadabhai, 133, 137, 

Nath, Ajudhia, 133 

National Council of Educa- 
tion, 171 

National Congress, Indian, 

National College, 173 

Nepal, 13 

Nevinson, H. W., 181, 182 

Noble, Miss, 1 

Pal, B. C, 162, 183, 190 
Partap, Rana, 71, 72, 73 
Pillai, Chidambaran, 183 
Plassey, 96 
Pratt, 3 
Prithvi, Raj, 70 


Rai, Lajpat, 181, 183 
Ramakrishna Mission, 215 
Ranade, 115, 133 
Rawlinson, 10, 11 
Reay, Lord, 123 
Ripon, Lord, 119 to 122 
Roberts (Charles), 28 
Robertson, Sir G. Scott, 29 
Roy, Ram Mohan, m 

Samaj, Arya, 117, 215 

Samaj, Brahmo, ill, 215 

Savarkar, 210, 211 

Seleucus, 68 

Sher Shah, 52, 73 

Shah Jahan, 52 

Sikhs, 73, 102 

Sinha, Sir S. P., 31 

Smith, Vincent, 10, II, 12, 13, 

Sivaji, 95, 129 
Surat, 148 
Swadeshi, 148, 168 
Swaraj, 148 
Sydenham, Lord, 29, 239, 240 



Tagore, 5 

Teg, Bahadur Guru, 95, 102 
Theosophical Society, 117 
Tilak (Bal Ganga Dhar), 28, 

133, *55, 162, 183 
Tod, Colonel, 73 
Tyabji, 133 

Vikramaiityas, 14 
Vivekananda, 115, 193 


Wacha, 39, 41 

Wedderburn (Sir W.), 122, 

128, 137, 144 
Wellesly, Lord, 97. 
Wilson (History of India), 


Victoria, Queen, 13 
Vidyasagar, 164 

Zamindar (newspaper), 62 


An account of its origin, doctrines and activities, with a Bio- 
graphical Sketch of the Founder. With an Introduction by 
Professor Sidney Webb, LL.B., of the London School of Eco- 
nomics and Political Science (University of London.) With 
10 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. pp. xxvi-\-305, price, $1.75 net. 
Professor Sidney Webb in the Preface which he has written 
to this book says — "I believe that this is the first book dealing 
with what may possibly prove to be the most important re- 
ligious movement in the whole of India." The author, Mr. 
Lajpat Rai, gives a biographical account of the Swami Dayan- 
anda, who was the founder of the Arya Samaj, and died in 
1883. Since then the organization which Dayananda founded 
has increased enormously, and numbered 243,000 members 
in iqii, having more than doubled since 1901. 

The Arya Samaj aims at a thorough reformation of the 
religion of Hinduism. It advocates the abolition of the wor- 
ship of Idols and desires that the Hindu religion should be 
restored to the pure and lofty Monotheism of the Vedas 
which it believes to be the sole source of religious truth. Mr. 
Blunt, I.C.S., in the census report for the United Province 
for 191 1 calls it "the greatest religious movement in India 
of the past half century." 

New York Times: — It is quite impossible for any one pos- 
sessed of imagination to close this book without feeling 
that it has introduced him to a movement of very great 
importance ... (a) fascinating book. 
Unity: — J. T. Sunderland, D.D. "An interesting, well writ- 
ten, reliable book." 
Journal of Religious Psychology: — A very interesting account. 
Boston Transcript: — Very remarkable book. 
Christian Intelligence: — Fascinating in style and matter. 
Literary Digest: — More interesting to Americans. 
Outlook: — It (the Arya Samaj) deserves wide attention. 
Christian Work: — "Carefully thought out and selected ma- 
terial" framed "into well-expressed phrases." 
London Times: — A remarkable book. 
London Daily News: — An indispensable book. 
London "India": — A historic book. 

Very favorable reviews given by the (London) Nation, 
the (London) New Statesman, the Pall Mall Gazette and 
other English and American papers in lengthy notices. 

IN INDIA A pamphlet. 25 cents. 
To be had of the author, care of B. W. Huebsch, 225 
Fifth avenue, New York. 


Second Edition in Course of Preparation 



5 8 1972 


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